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The Portuguese winger is eager to convince Sam Allardyce after he came on for the injured Joe Cole early on at the Britannia and managed to set up the the Hammers' winning goal

West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te has targeted a return to the first-team after impressing as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Stoke.

The Portuguese replaced Joe Cole after only 11 minutes at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday and went on to tee up the Hammers' winning goal for Jack Collison.

The 26-year-old has only made three league starts since dislocating his shoulder against Arsenal in early October and therefore sympathises with Cole's injury while also setting his sights on a starting role in Sam Allardyce's team.

"I feel for Joe because he was very unlucky, he has been playing brilliantly and I hope it is nothing serious," he told the club's official website.

"That's the point of being prepared. I came out early and prepared with the lads and I was just ready. It's very unfortunate for Joe but I was prepared and have been all week.
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"Since I have been injured I have not really had the chance to play much since I came back, but everything is in place. I'm working very hard to get my place back. My stats are still looking good, but obviously I'm still looking to improve on them. The priority on Saturday was getting the win, so that was the main thing."

Despite an assist in the win at Stoke, the Hammers midfielder says he was disappointed not to have taken a goalscoring chance of his own.

"I am pleased but I'm a bit disappointed because we were winning 1-0 and in the second half I could have pretty much finished the game," he continued.

"Since I joined the club my record has been pretty good. People might not know this, but I'm still the highest goalscorer since I joined the club [on 31 January 2012, with 13 goals].

"I was very unfortunate with my shoulder injury, but I am trying to get back to my best. I am trying to get back into the feel of things, to get my place back and to get the trust of the manager again."

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