MARLON Harewood broke his goal-drought in dramatic and spectacular fashion within a minute of the kick-off against Manchester United.
The 26-year-old striker buried a brilliant first-time finish from Matty Etherington's cross to open the scoring, but like the rest of the Hammers was disappointed to see United storm back in the second-half.
Marlon was naturally pleased to have plundered his sixth
Premiership goal of the season, but explained that to him winning
meant far more than scoring.
He said: "I'm a striker, it's part of my job to score goals and I want to score as many as I can.
"But at the end of the day, as long as we win games, it
doesn't matter who scores. Everyone has to be the star player,
because it's a team effort and that's the way West Ham
"I just make sure that in every match I've done my best to help us win the game, even if I haven't scored. If I have put a pass over to someone or just generally through the game I have helped us be the better team. That's my aim every time I play."
Describing his strike against United, Marlon explained: "I
remember seeing Matty make his run up the wing. As a striker, my
instincts straight away were to start making my run into the box.
But that's a position all of us, whether it be myself, Teddy or
Bobby up front, that you make sure you try and take up because you
know that is where Matty is looking to deliver the ball.
"Matty put in a great cross and I just connected with the ball and put it in the net. It was great for us because we had just come out onto the pitch, the boys were buzzing because we all wanted to do well and win against Man Utd.
"We showed what we can do in the first-half. But Man Utd have top class players who are very experienced at this level and they stepped up a gear in the second-half.
"But although they did, we stuck in there and kept at them. Games we have lost this season, have only been by the odd goal, so we have confidence in ourselves to keep going all the time."
Of course, like all strikers, Marlon is aware that he will come under the spotlight when he doesn't hit the net, but the former Nottingham Forest frontman knows that comes with the terrority.
He said: "You just get on with your game and I go out there to work hard and do my best. I'm enjoying playing in this team, it's got a great spirit and we're doing really well at the moment. I love playing football and I love playing for West Ham United.
"I think we may have answered the critics with the way we've played so far.
"Of course we still have a lot to do, but what we have done so far bodes well for the rest of the season because we've not only got results but showed that we can play.
"We have a side full of quality players, and while this
league is a dfficult one, we will let our results on the pitch do
Hammers face Birmingham on Monday, with Marlon saying that although it will be tough away from home, the aim is to get wins from their trio of tricky away trips coming up.
He said: "Birmingham will be tough, but they are all tough. The gaffer has us going into each game looking to win whether it's home or away. He says that each time to us and I think we're thriving on it. We lose sometimes, but it happens and you have to go on to the next one and aim to be better."
"We'll be going out at Birmingham looking to win. That's the way we've approached every game this season and I don't think it will change."
While Marlon and his team-mates are fully prepared for each game thanks to Pards and his team of top-class coaches, the muscular striker is going that extra mile to make sure he is in top condition.
And while attending Pilates classes might not be something that every footballer swears by, Marlon is leaving no limb unturned in his quest for physical fitness.
The forward explains: "I've been doing Pilates for around two years now. It was something that was suggested to me when I first came to West Ham.
"You are always looking on how you can improve yourself as
a player, and Pilates was one thing that was put to me that could
improve my posture and balance.
"l went along to try it and now I love it! I've continued to do it because I find it improves not only my posture, but is good for stretching and relaxing muscles.
"The training and preparation we have here at West Ham is top class. But this is something extra I do. It might not be something people would think footballers would do, but it works for me and I really enjoy it!"