Grady Diangana is hoping to be given another opportunity to shine in the Emirates FA Cup when West Ham United travel to AFC Wimbledon.
The winger was in eye-catching form in the Hammers’ third-round victory over Birmingham City at London Stadium three weeks ago, when goals in each half from Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll set up Saturday’s trip to Kingsmeadow.
Diangana is in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad again for this weekend’s tie and is eager to show his quality again when the Irons take on the EFL League One’s bottom side in a match that will be broadcast live in the UK and across the world.
The way I was brought up, I’ve always wanted more and I’ve never settled for what I have. For me, I want to challenge myself to become a better player every day and every week
“For me, winning a trophy would be a very good feeling and this is a chance for us to take a step closer to winning this one,” the 20-year-old confirmed.
West Ham will be making their second trip of the season to Kingston upon Thames, having knocked the Dons out of the Carabao Cup back in August.
Diangana had yet to make his first-team debut at that point, but he can recall how the home team provided a tough test for their Premier League opponents.
“You should never underestimate your opponents as you never know what they can throw at you, especially teams who play with a lot of energy,” he observed.
“I remember the last game against them and the first half was a bit challenging for us, so we have to give 100 per cent effort from the first minute and with our quality, we can go through.”
A long FA Cup run would be another positive experience for Diangana in a season full of them for the No45.
Not only has he played, scored and assisted for the Hammers, but he was also rewarded with a new long-term contract earlier this month.
Typically, though, the grounded youngster is not about to get carried away with his recent successes.
“It’s a very good feeling knowing I am going to be at the Club for another six years but, for me, it’s not about settling down but about kicking on and proving to everyone that I’m a very good player,” he insisted.
“It’s very exciting when you first join the first-team squad because it’s a new atmosphere and you’re playing with high-quality players. When you’re training with them, you see things you wouldn’t normally see and, as you start getting used to it, you realise the demands and how high the quality your football needs to be for you to stay there.
“You need to be high quality yourself and realise the work ethic you need to put in to reach that level.
“The way I was brought up, I’ve always wanted more and I’ve never settled for what I have. For me, I want to challenge myself to become a better player every day and every week.”