Bobby's Premiership First

BOBBY Zamora bagged his first Premier League goal in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester City and is hoping it turns out to be the first of many as the 24-year-old striker looks to make his mark on the top-flight.

Having come off the bench, Zamora received a wonderful through-ball from Yossi Benayoun before rounding David James to score for the Hammers. And despite the striker's delight he was quick to praise the role played by Israeli star Yossi.

"It was a great ball from Beni," he said. "It took out the defence and I managed to time the run right and get on the end of it. I saw David James coming out, so I touched it round him and from there it was just a case of finishing it off.

"I was really pleased to get my first Premier League goal, although it didn't come in the best circumstances because of the result.

"It was a difficult game. City made it tough, but we weren't at our best. We played a little better in the second-half and created a few more chances, but we were below our best.

"We know that we're a good side though and we're confident that we can bounce back with a good performance at home to Middlesbrough."

After opening his Premiership account and coming off the bench regularly this season, Bobby could well be in line for a start against Middlesbrough at Upton Park.

So far, his one and only inclusion in Pards' first-team this season came in the 2-1 win over Fulham. But although the Boleyn Ground crowd favourite is desperate to start for his boyhood club, Bobby insists he is happy to fill whatever role the manager asks of him.

"I just want to get as many minutes as I can," he said. "The manager has been bringing me off the bench in recent games and I'm always just ready to go out there and do a good job for the team.

"That's the role the gaffer has wanted me to fill lately, so I've been happy to do it. I was pleased to come off the bench and score at City, but obviously really disappointed that we couldn't get something out of the game.

"Of course, like any other player I want to start games. But I've got to be patient, wait for my chance and make sure that I take it when it comes along. All I can do is train hard and do my best when the manager calls on me."

Bobby is one of the players in Alan Pardew's squad who had Premiership experience prior to this season, having played 16 times for Spurs. And he admits that there is a difference between the Championship and the top-flight.

"You do get a little bit more time to play," he explained. "There is a bit more space to exploit, but the quality is also very high and mistakes at this level are punished nine times out of ten.

"You really have to be on top of your game to do well. It makes it a bit more difficult coming off the bench because you have to pick up the pace of the game straight away.

"It's tough because you want to make an impact in the time you have, but at the same time you are trying to get into a rhythm.

"But if that's what the manager wants me to do then I'm happy to do it and hopefully I'll be involved again against Middlesbrough.

"Hopefully, with the crowd behind us we can get stuck in, put the City game behind us and put in a good performance."