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West Ham’s Ayew stepping up and ready for a start

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 November 2016

Andre Ayew on the attack against Everton

Andre Ayew on the attack against Everton

Archant

The Hammers record signing has now made two cameo appearances in a week

West Ham United's Andre Ayew ...West Ham United's Andre Ayew ...

West Ham made a huge investment in shelling out a club record £20.5million to Swansea City for the services of Andre Ayew.

So to lose him after just half an hour of the Premier League season is a blow that matched anything that has hit the Hammers so far this campaign.

And so it must have been a huge relief for the money men, for manager Slaven Bilic and for Ayew himself when he finally made his return to action at Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Clearly untroubled by that run-out, he was back again on Sunday at Everton where he showed the sharpness and skills that led to West Ham splashing the cash for him.

West Ham United's Andy Carroll shows concern for Andre Ayew (floor)West Ham United's Andy Carroll shows concern for Andre Ayew (floor)

“It is feeling ok,” said the softly-spoken Ghana international when asked about how he is coping with being back.

“It is getting better week by week and I am getting more playing time so things are going well and I am working hard.”

The thigh injury he suffered at Stamford Bridge was expected to keep him out until December, but he has put in the hours on the training ground and in the treatment room to get back early and he is raring to go and maybe to start a game soon.

“That is up to the coach,” said the 26-year-old. “I am working on my fitness and on my game and whenever the gaffer needs me to start I will be ready.”

West Ham United's Andre Ayew ...West Ham United's Andre Ayew ...

That may be sooner rather than later as West Ham continue to struggle in the striker positions. Ayew scored 12 goals for the Swans last season and already in two sub appearances since his return he has had two decent chances to get off the mark.

With his first touch on Wednesday he headed just wide and then at Everton, he was put in by Michail Antonio, only to see his shot blocked.

“I like to get into the box, it is one of my qualities and hopefully soon I will be able to put one of them in.”

By the time Ayew came on, West Ham were already behind and the striker felt that the start of the second half was the crucial period.

“I think the players gave a lot on Wednesday and then a lot in the first half here,” he said. “I think that the first 20 minutes in the second half would be very important. They pressed us and were looking for goals, but we also had our chances.”

It didn’t work out, ending a run of three straight wins for the Hammers and Ayew believes that the club is still back on track.

“We are doing well, honestly,” he said. “We playing some good football, now we need to turn what we are doing into goals.

“We haven’t forgotten what we did in the last three games just because of one loss. We need to go back, look at our mistakes, work hard and then try and beat Stoke next weekend.”

And hopefully Ayew will be able to play an even bigger part against the Potters.

The team certainly needs a striker who can hit the target.


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