Patient Jelavic ready to take opportunity

Nikica Jelavic said he is 100% ready to make his mark
On the eve of what could be his full home debut West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic said he is ready to step up should he be called upon.

Since joining the Hammers in the summer from Hull City, the experienced Croatian has featured seven times as a substitute and is now hoping to force his way into the starting eleven against Stoke City.

Speaking ahead of the Hammers fixture with the Potters, Jelavic said he is doing everything he can to catch manager Slaven Bilic’s eye: “We have a very good squad and some very good strikers here so you have to earn your place in the team, I’m giving 100% every training session so hopefully I am going to get my chance.

“Definitely, competition for places is very important, it’s good to have a couple of good players in every position, it helps you to push yourself and put in 100% every session and try and impress the manager.”

While ‘Jela’ has only been at the Club for four months, he has clearly settled into life in east London quickly.

The former Rangers, Everton and Hull man continued by saying: “I have been involved in several different squads in my career and this is definitely a happy squad to be part of.

“You can feel the history of the club and how important it is to the fans. We are a big Premier League club; we have great fans and the move to the new stadium next year will make us even bigger club then we are at the moment, it’s something great that everyone connected to the club will enjoy.

“With the new stadium coming next year I think we’re in a good position, I’m sure new players will come in and will want to play for West Ham, this season is probably too early for Champions League, right now we should concentrate on playing good football.”

With injuries to Diafra Sakho, Dimitri Payet, Victor Moses and Manuel Lanzini, Jelavic’s goal scoring prowess may well be called upon come Saturday afternoon as the Hammers are aiming to extend their unbeaten run to three games.

A lucky omen for everyone in claret and blue is the fact that West Ham are yet to lose at home in a match where Jelavic has featured.

He continued: “We had a great season so far, great. We’ve had a couple of bad results in the last month but in general when you look at it from the start of the season, it has been great.

“I think we will have a good season ahead of us, we’re playing good football definitely think the fans are watching good football at the moment, we are certainly trying to. We have a couple of injuries to key players but we have already showed against Manchester United that we can cope.”