West Ham striker Ilan confident his goals can keep the Hammers up
West Ham striker Ilan is confident he can continue to score goals and help keep the club in the Premier League
West Ham striker Ilan is confident he can continue to score goals and help keep the club in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old Brazilian arrived at Upton Park in January after being released by French side St Etienne and has scored three goals, including two in his last three matches.
Buoyed by his good goalscoring form, the frontman believes there is more to come and is hopeful that his performances will earn him a contract for next season.
"In my mind I feel I can get the goals to help the club," he said.
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"I am happy with my contribution considering the minutes I have played. And at 29, I feel I am in my prime and ready to do well and stay here.
"I will do everything I can to help West Ham and then when the season is over we will sit down and talk about the future."
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Ilan helped keep up his former French side with a goal on the final day of the season in their 4-0 win over Valenciennes and although obviously keen the Hammers secure their future before the Manchester City clash at Upton Park, he is prepared to be a hero.
"The club was going through relegation danger and I scored a goal on the last day to help us survive," he said.
"At St Etienne I was captain for the second half of the season. We needed to win and another result to go our way on the final day.
"As a skipper representing the club and the supporters, it felt as good as if you win the league.
"That was an achievement and if I can do the same for West Ham I would be very happy."
Those comments are a long way from quotes attributed to the Brazilian last week, when he allegedly slated West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola and declared he would leave at the end of the season.
Ilan however denies making those comments and insists he had nothing but respect for his boss.
"There was some negative news after the (Sunderland) match, that I said that Zola did not have control," he said.
"Something was published totally incorrectly in a newspaper that is not very serious here.
"I have never had any problem with him. I've always had good, positive discussions. He's a very open person. I'd given an interview to a Brazilian newspaper two months ago.
"The paper here went after this old information and translated it incorrectly and published something negative right after our win when I got my goal (against Sunderland).
"It's not good for me to have this image. I called Zola and he said, 'Don't worry, we are used to this here'. I spoke to the captain (Matthew Upson),who said, 'Yes, I saw it, no one here thinks that. Stay calm and just concentrate on scoring'.