Ricardo Vaz Te has set his sights on regaining a place in Sam Allardyce's West Ham United starting XI after producing a superb display as a substitute at Stoke City.
The Portuguese winger was sent on after just eleven minutes for an injured Joe Cole in Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win at the Britannia Stadium and responded by setting up the winner for fellow replacement Jack Collison.
Now Vaz Te, who started just three league games since dislocating his shoulder in the home defeat by Arsenal on 6 October, wants to convince Big Sam that he cannot afford to leave the No12 on the bench during the final ten matches of the season.
"I think the win was the fundamental part to take the pressure off the lads," Vaz Te told West Ham TV, in reference to Saturday's success at Stoke. "I feel for Joe because he was very unlucky, he has been playing brilliantly and I hope it is nothing serious.
"That's the point of being prepared. I came out early and prepared with the lads and I was just ready. It's very unfortunate for Joe but I was prepared and have been all week.
"Since I have been injured I have not really had the chance to play much since I came back, but everything is in place. I'm working very hard to get my place back. My stats are still looking good, but obviously I'm still looking to improve on them. The priority on Saturday was getting the win, so that was the main thing."
Vaz Te certainly looked back to his best at the Britannia Stadium, repeatedly running at the Stoke defenders and providing a willing outlet when the Hammers were put under pressure.
The 26-year-old capped a fine performance by setting up Collison's winner with a fine through ball. In the second half, Vaz Te could even have got a goal himself, only to delay slightly too long when Collison returned the compliment.
"I am pleased but I'm a bit disappointed because we were winning 1-0 and in the second half I could have pretty much finished the game.
"Since I joined the club my record has been pretty good. People might not know this, but I'm still the highest goalscorer since I joined the club [on 31 January 2012, with 13 goals]. I was very unfortunate with my shoulder injury, but I am trying to get back to my best. I am trying to get back into the feel of things, to get my place back and to get the trust of the manager again.
"I was very disappointed with the opportunity I had. I should have at least had a shot and I'm sure I would have scored. Again, there is always room for improvement and that's how I see it, so I'm going to try my best to do that next time."
Concentrating on his all-important assist, Vaz Te collected the ball about 35 yards out before playing it into Andy Carroll. The striker went to ground alongside Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross and Vaz Te reacted quickest, collecting possession again before sliding a pass into Collison, who spun and fired low past Asmir Begovic.
"I played a one-two with Andy and had a few defenders in front of me. I could have pushed the ball to my left and had a shot, but if I had tried to shoot I had two defenders in front of me so I was kind of blocked.
"I could see Jack in the corner of my eye and he was in a better position, so I thought I would lay the pass to him. I was so pleased for Jack. I think he deserves it because he works so hard. He has a great misfortune with his knee injury, so I'm glad to see him back and scoring again.
"It was a terrific three points for us, so I'm very pleased for Jack and for the whole team really. To keep a clean sheet in a ground like that is terrific, so credit must go to everyone - to the team, to the manager, to the staff because I think we prepared right. I think we dominated Stoke for the whole game.
"For myself, I'm going to work hard to secure my place and keep improving my stats."
*To watch the whole of Ricardo Vaz Te's interview, including his hopes of a top-ten finish, click here.