Zarate - We are in a good way

Mauro Zarate says West Ham United are determined to spread some Christmas cheer by scoring a Boxing Day victory at Aston Villa.

The No10 has cut a frustrated figure in recent matches when, despite his best efforts to break the deadlock, the Hammers have been held to a record three goalless draws in succession. The last of those came at Swansea on Sunday, when Zarate came close twice to beating goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, but was again forced to make do with drawing a blank.

Next up for the Argentinian and co is a Boxing Day trip to Villa Park, where he hopes to take advantage of a meeting with the Barclays Premier League’s bottom club to pick up a welcome three points.

“At Swansea, the fans were great as they always are, but we have to win for them,” he told “We have a good match on Boxing Day at Aston Villa where we will try to take the three points.

“We have three tough matches but we are in a good way and we feel like we are prepared to get the wins we need. We want to get the victory at Villa and then we’ll start thinking about the next match.”

Zarate has been in good form this season, scoring five goals, and is looking forward to his first Christmas in English football.

At his previous clubs in Argentina, Italy and Qatar, the 28-year-old was given a break over the festive period, but it is a different story in this country.

On top of the football, the South American has also fulfilled a host of other commitments during a busy December, including recent visits to Newham General Hospital and the Club’s Lakeside Thurrock Store with his teammates.

While scoring goals is his No1 target, Zarate is a father himself and acutely aware of the responsibility of footballers to make youngsters’ dreams come true at Christmas time.

“It was great to be there with the fans,” he revealed. “Me and the boys signed lots of pictures, so it was a great day. It’s a good moment for us at Christmas, and of course for the fans too.”