I worked hard for this moment says Vlasic after first West Ham goal

West Ham United's Nikola Vlasic (left) celebrates with team-mate Alex Kral after scoring their side'

West Ham United's Nikola Vlasic (left) celebrates with team-mate Alex Kral after scoring against Watford - Credit: PA

The wide smile on Nikola Vlašić’s face said it all after the attacking midfielder scored his first West Ham United goal in Tuesday’s 4-1 Premier League win at Watford. 

The Croatia international capped a good all-round performance at Vicarage Road by rolling home the outstanding Jarrod Bowen’s cut-back in added time, before celebrating with a ‘Crossed Hammers’ celebration with his teammates – including Lukasz Fabianski, who ran the length of the pitch to show his support for the No11 – and the jubilant Claret and Blue Army. 

Tomas Soucek, Said Benrahma and Mark Noble were also on target as the Hammers came from a goal down to secure a winning end to 2021 – capped by a welcome goal for the jubilant Vlasic, who has worked hard for this moment following his late-summer move from Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow. 

“Yeah, it's lovely. I was waiting for this like for three months. It's hard when I came to a new club in a new place and a new environment and the first goal is the hardest,” Vlasic said. 

“So, I think now it will be everything will be easier. I relieved pressure from myself so I'm very happy. And I think everybody in the team is happy for me. 

 “Yeah, you know, some stuff that happened during the summer – we had the European Championship and when I came back to my club [in Russia], I didn't do preseason, then I wanted to go, and then I didn't train.  

“Then you come in the new club, you're without a preseason and stuff like that, and then you need to adapt to a better league with way faster football, but I knew everything would come into place and if I worked hard every day on the training ground, then it will pay off.” 

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His team-mates rushed over to Vlasic to celebrate his goal and it shows the team spirit amongst the squad. 

“My friends and family asked me: ‘How is it, as you don't play too much, like before?’. And I said: ‘Listen, I really love it here’. Because I think if I'm in any other club, if I don't play, I would be unhappy but here I'm really happy, because I work hard.  

“The team is very good at the moment, so it's hard to get into the team, but you need to wait your opportunity and stuff like this. I think I will only be better because of that and I will need to push myself to the limits and I will do it.” 

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