Nicky Maynard thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of the Boleyn Ground as a West Ham United player.
The Hammers’ new No8 made an impact as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s 1-1 npower Championship draw with Southampton, coming within inches of snatching all three points with a fierce late volley.
That effort was saved by Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, but Maynard’s debut suggests he will not be waiting too long for his first West Ham goal.
“The atmosphere was great and something I’ve been waiting for and chomping at the bit to get at,” he said. “Obviously it wasn’t ideal to come on when we were a man down but the main thing was that we didn’t lose.
“The lads put in another fantastic effort as they did against Millwall and kept Southampton at arm’s length and we just have to make sure we win our game in-hand now.
“I’m one of them who likes to thrive off chances and get my shots off as quickly as possible. I managed to get a shot off towards the end and I was devastated that the goalkeeper got a touch to it.
“Every chance I get I’m going to try to make an impact, whether that is from the start or when I come on from the bench. I was disappointed not to get on against Millwall but that just made me more hungry to make an impression in the next match, which hopefully I did on Tuesday.”
The midweek draw with second-placed Southampton keeps West Ham a point clear at the top of the table and Maynard believes the Hammers have everything in place to make an immediate return to the Premier League. Having joined from Bristol City on transfer deadline day in January, the striker is also keen to pay back the club’s outstanding supporters by delivering both goals and promotion.
“The atmosphere was just great and the fans were right behind us throughout the 90 minutes. We just need to make sure we give them something to shout about and we’ve been doing that in the last couple of weeks.
“It’s just a massive club. The lads are top-class and made me feel welcome, There is nothing in anybody’s mind except winning automatic promotion. The players here have Premier League ability and Premier League experience and I want to be amongst that.”