January recruit Wellington Paulista has vowed to continue putting in the hard yards for West Ham United's Development Squad, in the hope that a first-team opportunity will eventually come his way.

Since signing on a six-month loan from Brazilian outfit Cruzeiro, the 28-year-old goalgetter has netted five times in ten starts for the Hammers' Under-21 side.

While his goals might have caught the eye, Paulista's on-field enthusiasm is similarly hard to ignore and the already-popular Brazilian is intent on giving his all between now and the season's end.

"I'm taking it day by day, trying to get better every day and hoping to break into the first team," he told West Ham TV, with the help of his Spanish-speaking colleague Sebastian Lletget.

"Whether I score or not, I'm confident either way. I'm always trying to bring other players into the game and trying to be more versatile in that sense. I'm doing a lot in training, just to get in the manager's eye and hopefully to get into the team.

"I'm very happy [to see the first-team doing well] but I obviously want to be a part of it. I'll be working hard right until the end of my six-month deal and I'd like to stay here if I can."

Though Paulista is yet to make his first-team bow, he has made quite the impact in the Hammers' second string, not least in front of goal. Welly, as he is known to his teammates, has chalked up five of West Ham's 12 goals in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Elite Group, celebrating each and every one with considerable gusto.

"Ever since I was a kid, it was always just natural to enjoy scoring, whether it's for the first team or for the reserves, a goal's a goal and I enjoy it either way," he added.

"It's good, [being with the Development Squad], but obviously playing with younger players is a different experience to what I'm used to. There's a lot of talent at this club, but of course they have a lot to learn."

While Wellington will have to wait to run out in front of a packed Boleyn Ground, he has already seen more than enough to convince him that it is an experience he would enjoy. The six-foot' striker likened the Hammers faithful to those of his native Brazil, insisting they are every bit as fanatical as his adoring South-American public.

"It's a bit like Brazil, in that the fans are so passionate and are crazy about the football club. I love that it's always full and so noisy and that's the sort of crowd I like to play in front of."

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