Nasri: I’m happy to get my first minutes in a Hammers shirt
Samir Nasri was delighted to make his West Ham United debut in a winning effort as the east Londoners triumphed 2-0 over Birmingham City in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
Nasri played the opening 58 minutes of the contest, helping Manuel Pellegrini’s men establish an early lead through Marko Arnautovic before Andy Carroll wrapped up the victory late on.
The Frenchman was playing his first game in 13 months after returning from a ban to sign for West Ham last week and he admitted the debut could not have gone much better.
“I’m happy to get my first minutes in the West Ham shirt, but most important was the team performance and winning 2-0, keeping a clean sheet,” he said. “That was the goal today and that’s what we did.
“It was important to not let Birmingham get into the game with confidence, so we pushed from the start and scoring the goal that early made everyone more comfortable on the ball and able to play our football.
“The coach rotated the squad and had young players in the team, so it was important to score an early goal for everyone to be a little more free on the ball.
I’m happy to get my first minutes in the West Ham shirt, but most important was the team performance and winning 2-0
“It was a tricky game, because they didn’t want to do anything with the ball, but when they had it they played that long ball and tried to catch us on the break.
“I felt good, honestly I thought I would struggle a little more with the rhythm as my last game was 13 months ago.
“I’m just relieved that everything is now behind me and happy about those first 58 minutes. It was good and I’m just looking forward to the next game.”
Nasri was impressed by his first experience of playing in front of the Hammers fans, with more than 54,000 packing out London Stadium against the Blues.
He added: “We are blessed and lucky to be able to play every game with 50,000 plus people being there and I said in my first interview with the club that we have everything to be the biggest club in London.
“The support of the fans is really important to us if we want to achieve things this year and I think we have to potential to do it. I’m looking forward to the next game, a derby against Arsenal so I’m sure the atmosphere will be even more crazy."