Lucas Paquetá

Paquetá: I'm feeling more and more at ease in the team

Paquetá says his ever-strengthening connection with his West Ham United teammates should lead to more goals and influential performances in Claret and Blue.

The Brazilian was outstanding in Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Newcastle United, helping the Hammers recover from the shock of conceding inside three minutes and capping an authoritative display with a well-taken equalising goal.

Playing in a central midfield role alongside Declan Rice in a 3-4-3 formation, the 25-year-old combined effectively with the captain to dominate the middle of St James’ Park. It was from Rice’s corner that Paquetá shrugged off Kieran Trippier at the far post before controlling and shooting past Nick Pope to cancel out Callum Wilson’s opener.

With the dynamic duo repeatedly shutting down space, robbing their opponents and pouncing on loose balls, West Ham produced one of their best all-round performances of a hitherto underwhelming season.

The draw with the EFL Cup finalists on Tyneside made it one defeat in six in all competitions, and the goalscorer believes the Irons’ levels will continue to improve as he and his colleagues continue to get to know one another better.

We've started to understand each other more on the pitch and we're working harder

“I think it's a very important point,” he told West Ham TV. “Newcastle are at the top end of the table and we need to get points against those teams. It was a very closely contested game and I'm proud of the team's effort and the point.

“I'm very happy with the goal. It's something I've been striving for and you feel a bit anxious to get that goal. I'm happy to have scored and to help the team get an important point.

“I'm feeling more and more at ease in the team, connecting with my teammates and I hope that from here on out I can do my best, I can help the team and we can get positive results.

“I think we've started to play a little better, we've started to understand each other more on the pitch and we're working harder. And I think we reaped the fruits of that with the result we got, which was an important point, and the other victories we have had in recent weeks.”


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