West Ham United marksman Modibo Maiga has had as good a pre-season as just about anyone in claret and blue, with minutes under his belt and two goals to boot.

It certainly bodes well for the Mali-born forward, who has his sights firmly set on a prolific second season for the Hammers.

In his pursuit of those goals, the 25-year-old is prepared to put in the hard yards, vowing to work, work, and work some more to establish himself in the Barclays Premier League.


There are only two weeks until the start of the season, how do you assess your pre-season?

MM: "It [pre-season] has been pretty good. It's all preparation, so you have to prepare well in order to start well. That's why we build on core fitness until now. We've had a very good pre-season so far and we plan to continue to get ready right until the end."

Two goals, plenty of minutes, you must be full of confidence…

MM: "Of course, [goals and minutes] bring back the confidence. It brings back sharpness as well. Particularly, if you're a forward, you've got to score, however they come. So the goals really please me. They're a small bonus, even if they are just pre-season games.

"We're always going to continue to prepare well, but the most important preparation is not just goals. We have to get back our rhythm, work hard and improve physically. That's the main objective."

Two slightly strange goals, wouldn't you say?

 "Yes, but I see it as a small reward [for the hard work]. It does me good as well."

A few days in Portugal now and the hard work continues…

"That's for sure, the hard work continues. We're ready to work hard and that offsets the attacking work. Everyone knows that's the way it has to be, you've got to put a lot in. We've got this final stint in Portugal. We've got good professionals. We work, we're attentive and it's really going to help for the start of the season."

You're up against two top teams in Sporting Lisbon and Braga…

"I think it's good, because until now, even in Germany, we've played against good teams. It's really good, it's good for the team. Because it enables us to measure our progress against good teams like that. It's a lot better [this way]. It's another great opportunity for us to get back into the swing of things.

You played against Braga last season, so you know them a bit…

Well of course, we know them. Anyhow, it's not a pressured game. Last year, it was our first experience [of them], so we know, a little bit, what to expect. Even if the main aim is to improve physically.

What are your ambitions for this season?

My ambition this year is to simply score a lot of goals. Play well and score a lot of goals. I want to be useful for the team. That's my ambition, but particularly to work, work and work some more.

Do you set yourself targets?

 "For me my target is to do more than last season. That's my aim and that has always been my aim. Always look to the future, rather than questioning yourself. Score lots of goals!"

We all remember your spectacular goal against Southampton, one of your best, perhaps?

"Yes, but there aren't many to choose from at West Ham! But it's not one of the best in my career, I have scored better. For sure, it was pretty good. I always have that in my locker, it's part of my quality. And I hope to score even better goals for the Club."

The goal against Chelsea might have been simpler but it was obviously hugely important…

"Very, very important, that's clear. Particularly to win against Chelsea. That gives it an extra edge, it was against Chelsea, that's normal. It was like a little present, a present from the sky. Everyone was so relieved. But I hope I'll have the chance to score a lot against Chelsea and others."

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