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2013-12-19T12:20:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:15:38

Maiga celebrates 'special moment'

Modibo Maiga certainly knows how to pick his moments.

His last West Ham United goal was a late clincher in a 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Chelsea. This time, the Mali frontman leapt off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur to transform the Hammers' evening.

A dominant force in the air, one of Maiga's many flick-ons laid the groundwork for Matt Jarvis' leveller, before he powered home Mohamed Diame's cross to bag an 85th-minute winner.

Watch Big Sam's reaction to the Spurs win on West Ham TV here

And this, his first goal of the season, right in front of 4,200 jubilant Hammers fans at White Hart Lane, to send West Ham United into the last four of the Capital One Cup. As good timing goes, this was just about immaculate.

Though it has, by his own admission, been a frustrating wait for a first goal of the campaign, the 26-year-old has complete faith in his own ability and saw Wednesday night as just reward for his perseverance.    

He exclusively told West Ham TV: "Definitely, it was a special moment. I'm absolutely delighted, it's a huge reward for me and I hope it's going to continue that way.

"I've had quite a few chances in the last three or four games and particularly with my head. It has really annoyed me, because in France I was known for my ability in the air.

"It's not happened for me until now, but I've got my rewards in the Spurs game and I'm really happy, for the team too! They all worked really hard in the first half, particularly defensively, so as a unit we've got what we deserved and I'm chuffed." 

With his account for the season now opened, Maiga is planning to make the most of the momentum, hopeful that the goals will now flow. That very surge of confidence was in evidence almost instantly, as the No11 rattled the crossbar with a long-range drive in stoppage time.

He continued: "Already it feels great, because for me, what was going on wasn't normal! But that's football and that's how it goes. You have to think, you have to work and, sometimes, to wait. It [the goal] was always going to come and it happened on Wednesday night. Here's hoping it carries on."

Modibo Maiga scores against Tottenham
Modibo Maiga gets above Etienne Capoue and Kyle Walker to head the Hammers' winner

As with the Hammers' 3-0 league win at Spurs back in October, the visitors' goals were scored in front of West Ham's traveling faithful, an experience that Maiga absolutely loved. 

"As I always say, the supporters are incredible, just incredible," he confirmed. "I love it, I really do and I respect them a lot. They're fantastic, that's for sure.

"The atmosphere was mad! It's impressive, really impressive. Even though it was a cup match and all that they bring, the support was still brilliant."  

Admittedly, the Hammers have not had a whole lot to celebrate in recent weeks, but Maiga reckons the tide is turning and they were good value for victory on Wednesday.  

"Absolutely, we deserved it," he said. "We've had a tough time in the last few games, where we've managed to create chances but not got our rewards, like me, for example.

"But now we're really happy. Honestly, we really deserved it and I hope we're going to continue in this vein and with results like this."

While Manchester City await in the semi-final, Maiga would rather concentrate on league matters for now, starting with Saturday's trip to Old Trafford. As tough a fixture as it is, the centre-forward is adamant that West Ham will be positive in their approach.   

"Well, the draw's good and we'll see how it goes. But that's done and now we go again for the next league game, which is very, very important for us as well, for West Ham, for everyone. So for now, we're thinking about that.

"It's Manchester United, we know what to expect. We're going to push to beat them. That's all I can say, we're going there to win and come the end we'll see."

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