Nolberto Solano is coming back down to earth this week after a terrific debut for West Ham United saw his Boleyn Ground career get off to a flier.
The Peruvian international came off the bench in the 72nd minute against Sunderland on Sunday with the scores level at 1-1. Within five minutes, he had forced a bizarre own goal from Craig Gordon when his shot cannoned off the post and hit the hapless goalkeeper on its way into the net. Craig Bellamy then wrapped up the win at the death and Solano is determined to make sure his name also goes down in the scoring statistics.
"I'm going to try and claim the goal," he said. "Perhaps if the ball hadn't hit the keeper it would have come back to me anyway. But the most important thing is we won and I don't care if they give it to me or not. It was very sweet to score my first goal, especially as a former Newcastle player against Sunderland. I've already had a few texts from some friends in Newcastle and they're very happy!
"We're very pleased with the three points. I haven't been involved with the team until now but I got an opportunity and I'm delighted we got the win. We'd lost three games in row and it was important we got back to winning ways." Solano had not figured for Alan Curbishley since signing at the end of August, having twice had to go away on international duty with his country - most recently to Chile where he played a full 90 minutes last Wednesday in a World Cup qualifier.
Solano said: "It has been frustrating but we have a big squad and I just had to wait for my chance. When I moved here I wasn't cleared in time to play the first game against Reading and then I went away on international duty for the next game so it's been difficult for me to get a game here. But now I have an opportunity to get a place in the team.
"I've just played two games with Peru against Paraguay and Chile and I didn't realise I would be involved. I arrived back on Friday afternoon from a 13-hour flight and they're six hours ahead so I was a little tired. I want to be involved, I've been waiting for my chance but now I've got an opportunity and I'm going to get more."