For Pablo Fornals, the experience of Saturday’s ultra-competitive 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion was an invaluable one.
West Ham United’s summer signing from Spanish club Villarreal is learning with every minute he spends on the pitch, with the intensity, passion and speed of the Premier League being different to that of La Liga.
In starting for the first time at the Amex, the 24-year-old was able to immerse himself fully in the game, but he admits there is still some way to go before he feels totally comfortable in English football.
I need to play more games to really understand the new game and my new team more
“This is all new for me,” he told West Ham TV. “It is a new league, a new experience, new stadiums and new rivals. It was a great match, a hard match and I’m happy for my first point in this league.
“It was very hard for me. I need to play more games to really understand the new game and my new team more.
“Many people talked about the characteristics of the Premier League, but you need to live these things to understand this league. It’s so hard, very difficult, and whatever team you play against in this league is very competitive.”
West Ham had to show resilience to take a point from a game in which their opponents created more chances, and were indebted to the predatory instincts of Chicharito, who converted his only opportunity to put the Irons in front on the hour-mark.
“Everyone is very happy for him,” Fornals confirmed. “It was an unspeakable experience to be on the pitch when he scored his goal!”
Fornals was also impressed by Brighton, who showed character of their own to fight back after falling behind and equalise, and generally played with confidence drawn from an opening-day win at Watford.
“It’s a great point and a difficult point,” he concluded. “This team (Brighton) won three-nil in their last match against Watford, so it’s difficult to win a point in this stadium.”