Maiga makes his mark

Modibo Maiga is convinced West Ham United are close to rediscovering their winning touch, after helping the Hammers to a pulsating 3-3 Barclays Premier League draw at home to West Bromwich Albion.  

The 26-year-old frontman was instrumental in overturning a 2-1 deficit on Saturday afternoon, scoring one and creating a second in a three-minute blitz, having joined the fray in place of Carlton Cole for the second period.

But Saido Berahino's subsequent leveller meant the Hammers were to settle for a point, a result that Maiga foresees taking the Hammers ever-closer to turning the corner in their bid to clamber clear of trouble.      

Modibo Maiga Cele v West Brom

Maiga celebrates with Guy Demel following the Hammers' third goal

He exclusively told West Ham TV: "It's true that we're all disappointed [to draw]. It was a tough game physically. We've scored twice [in the second half] but weren't able to hold on. Though we're disappointed, the most important thing now is to pick ourselves up for the next game, so that things turn in our favour.

"Every point is important and the most important thing on Saturday was not to lose, and then we have to try [to turn draws into wins]. We've got to try to continue to play as we did in the second half.

"At the moment, there's definitely that little something that's missing. So as soon as we can overcome that, I believe that we'll be OK, because we've got great players."  

Read manager Sam Allardyce's take on Saturday's 3-3 draw 

While victory on Saturday was elusive, there was still much to celebrate for Maiga, who had already forced an excellent stop from Ben Foster by the time he buried a left-footed curler.

The Mali international then turned provider, with his prodigious leap enabling Kevin Nolan to fire the Hammers back in front. Maiga rightly took enormous satisfaction from his contribution, one that he hopes shows his versatility in a system to which he is now becoming accustomed.    
"I'm really happy, really happy," he continued. "Though I'm not that used to playing in this system, I've dealt with it and I'm pleased to have scored. It's reward for me and for my work and I hope it's going to continue, God willing.

"The keeper has saved the first one but the second one has gone in and honestly I'm really happy. I thank God but I thank the supporters a lot too! I thank them a great deal because honestly they continue to back and support me. That feels great and I'm very grateful." 

Looking ahead to the New Year, Maiga remains confident that there are good times ahead, so long as the Hammers continue to put in the hard yards, while keeping the faith.  

He added: "As I always say, the only solution is to work hard. Hard work and then, ultimately, we'll see how it goes and, of course, we hope for the right result. But I think overall there's not much wrong, perhaps a slight lacking in confidence. We'll carry on working hard and I believe it's just the small things that are missing right now, but we'll be OK."