Valencia relishing Boleyn return

Enner Valencia is delighted to be back involved in the first team
Having made his return to first team action against Watford last weekend, sharp-shooting Enner Valencia is relishing his return to the Boleyn Ground later this afternoon.

On an otherwise day to forget for the Hammers, the Ecuadorean forward made his present felt almost immediately at Vicarage Road as he hit the post after coming on in the second half.

Reflecting on his return to top flight action, Valencia said: “Last week, I was very happy to be back on the pitch. Obviously losing the game was very disappointing but now, I hope to be part of the team for a long time.

“I’ve had two very bad injuries in my time here which is very frustrating. The last one was very difficult to take, but thank God I have been able to make my return last week.”

Having enjoyed his first taste of Premier League football, Valencia is pushing for his first League start.
While his time on the pitch has been limited of late, the striker said his time in east London so far could only be seen as wholly positive.

“I’ve settled in very well and that’s thanks to the wonderful people that run the club and the fantastic supporters. West Ham is a marvellous club and I am really enjoying myself, everything is going well.”

Looking ahead to today’s encounter with Roberto Martinez’s Everton, Valencia is hoping to pick up from where he left off last time he took to the Boleyn Ground turf.

It took the forward just 23 minutes to score his first goal of the season, a close range header, and the 26-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, is hoping to mark his return with another goal.

“Everton are tough opponents, they are full of confidence after such a big win last weekend. Today is a huge game for both sides.

 “My free-kicks are definitely something I want to improve on. I’ve been practising a lot with Mauro Zarate, Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet, we often stay behind to practise. I scored a few good ones; I hope to score in a match soon!

“I celebrated my birthday by going out for dinner with my friends and family. This age I am now is usually the best years for a footballer, I hope that is the case for me. I am on the right path and I want to keep on improving.”

Following the Hammers’ impressive start to the season, Valencia praised manager Slaven Bilic.

While the pair have worked closely on the training pitches at Chadwell Heath, the Ecuadorean is looking forward to putting that practise into action on a regular basis.

“Slaven Bilic is a fabulous coach, he is ideal for this club because of his style. I am fit and ready to go and help the team as much as I can.

“He is a coach who instils his ideas from the very first day, he is a winner who likes playing attacking football. You can see that from the number of chances we’ve created.

“To reach the Champions League is definitely in our heads. We would really like to qualify for Europe, but if not the Champions League than the Europa League is a great competition too.”