Sakho - I'm working very hard

Diafra Sakho is desperate to make his return to first-team action and get back to what he does best - scoring goals!

With  five to his name, the No15 will have to go some to reach his target of 20 for the season, but the Senegal striker is determined to honour his word to West Ham United supporters.

Such is Sakho’s eagerness to start hitting the net again that he is putting in extra fitness work at home in a bit to return to action from the thigh injury he suffered in late November.

The 26-year-old has been working closely with head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke and rehab fitness coach Eamon Swift, with the former suggesting that Sakho could be back in a Claret and Blue shirt by the end of February.

“Honestly, my recovery's going very well,” Sakho told “Even though it's been a lot quicker than what I'd thought, I'm in a hurry to come back because I promised to score 20 goals and at the moment I'm only on five in all competitions. So that leaves 15.

“I'm going to try right until the end to keep to my word. Even if the fans say, ‘the whole season he only played 20 or so games’, I hope, in the games that I'm going to play, to respect my words. That's very important to me.

“I want to play right now. I need to play right now, but Stijn says ‘No, no, I have to wait’. I'm working very hard with Stijn and with Eamon, and at home as well.”

Sakho has proved a big hit since joining West Ham from French club Metz in August 2014, scoring 17 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions.

The Guediawaye-born striker began the current season with two UEFA Europa League goals against FC Lusitans, before adding further goals in the Barclays Premier League victories at Liverpool and Manchester City.

However, a pair of thigh injuries have restricted his appearances since October and the popular forward will be hoping to return and contribute to the Hammers’ cause over the closing weeks of the 2015/16 campaign.