Yarmolenko: I’m feeling better and better with each game
Andriy Yarmolenko is reaping the reward for the countless hours of hard work he has put in on the Rush Green training pitches, gym and medical room.
The Hammers No7’s first season with the club was cut short by a serious Achilles injury, but he has returned this term with goals in both the club’s last two home games - including an eye-catching strike in Sunday’s 2-0 victory against Manchester United.
Yarmolenko set the Hammers on their way to the points against the Red Devils with his fine left-footed finish, beating David de Gea down low after being set up by Felipe Anderson.
He was thrilled with the points, and even more so with another match under his belt as he returns to speed.
He said: “Every week we work hard [for days like today]. It was an amazing day for us, for our fans, and we played well. We defended as a team, we attacked as a team and of course it was a good result.
“Felipe gave me a great ball and I just tried to shoot, and it was a goal!
“It’s my job to score goals, to give assists and you have to be calm when you get into that position, whether to shoot or to give a better option to your teammates.
“I’m not at 100% of my best yet, but with every game I’m feeling better and better. I hope I play better in the next game too.”
Yarmolenko was also grateful for the reception he received from the Hammers fans when he was substituted late on, and he says the challenge now is to maintain the high standards the team has set for itself.
“The reception was amazing,” he added. “I felt like I had finished my career here [with the ovation I got].
“Everyone applauded me and I really appreciated that from our supporters. They are amazing and every game you play here you feel like you are a special team.
“For me, it doesn’t matter which position we are in the table now, we must concentrate for every next game and play well to show we are a big team and play like a big team.”