Sam Baldock is determined to establish himself as a Premier League footballer as he gears up for the new season with West Ham United.
The diminutive Aylesbury-born striker opened his pre-season account with a goal in the Hammers’ 3-1 defeat against Austria Wien on Saturday.
Life at his new club started so well for Baldock with five goals in his first five games helping him strike an instant rapport with the club’s fans.
But, having been left out of the starting lineup for much of the second half of last season, the former MK Dons star is itching to force his way back into manager Sam Allardyce’s thoughts and make an impact in the world’s top league.
“I don’t see why I can’t take this opportunity to stake my claim,” Baldock told www.whufc.com
“Everyone knows that during the second half of last year I was very frustrated.
“I’m a footballer who wants to play football at the end of the day.
“I’ve been working hard and hopefully I’ll be given a chance to show what I can do.”
Focusing on his goal, Baldock revealed that he had been slightly fortunate to score, but that there was no luck involved in him being in the right place at the right time to meet Carlton Cole’s far-post cross.
“I wasn’t particularly pleased with my performance but I don’t think anyone can say they played particularly well - it was more about getting a run out and seeing if you can get that match-sharpness after six days of training. It was a good end to the trip in a nice stadium with a good atmosphere and quite a few travelling fans, which was nice to see.”