Boa buoyant after goal

Luis Boa Morte was delighted to sign off with a goal in Sunday's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Manchester City.

The Portugal midfielder, who looks set to leave the Boleyn Ground when his contract expires next month, returned after a year out with a serious knee injury by latching on to Alessandro Diamanti's clever pass and clipping the ball past Marton Fulop.

Boa Morte's goal - his second in 81 games over three years in east London and his first at home - arrived after 17 minutes of an entertaining final-day fixture.

The 32-year-old told WHUTV he was happy to get the chance to say 'Goodbye' to the Hammers faithful after working hard to regain his fitness in the nine months since he was hurt at the Barclays Asia Trophy in China.

"I am really pleased to have come back and to have scored. I want to say 'Thank you' to the medical department and especially to head of rehabilitation Stijn Vandenbroucke, because he spent most of the days with me.

"I've never had an injury like this so to see the others playing and not getting the results has been hard. This has happened, so now I'm hoping that nothing like this will come in my way again and I can carry on in my career.

"It's been important to be at Chadwell Heath with the other players. It's been hard - six hours a day in the training ground, then you have to go home and have energy for your family as well. It's been quite hard. I was going through a coaching course, but I had to give it up as, at one stage, I couldn't do any more."

While Boa Morte's future may lie elsewhere, he will look back fondly on his time at West Ham.

The midfielder's commitment saw him win over the supporters after a difficult first few months at the club - a fact illustrated by the superb reception he received on being replaced by Junior Stanislas with 26 minutes remaining.

A coaching career is in the offing, but first, Boa Morte wants to showcase his talents on the pitch for a few more seasons at least.

"Next season, I'll keep working on my knee to make it a lot stronger. I was tackling and chasing around on Sunday because that's the way I play, that's me and the way I want to be in football.

"I know I've been out for a long time injured, but one thing I won't change is my way of playing. On Sunday, if I got injured by tackling someone or chasing someone, that's the way it would be, but that's the way I want to play. If I see the ball, I have to after it. I won't change.

"It was a good experience to get a good reception. This was my last game as well, so thanks to everyone. I have had some hard times with the West Ham supporters but that's just football. I kept working and never turned my face away - that's the way to be in football, and I'm happy to be like that."