'I want to get into Europe' - Hernandez targets strong finish for West Ham

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Stephen Pond
The Mexican striker netted his 50th goal in the Premier League in his club's 3-1 win against Fulham in February and is now looking up the table

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez is aiming for a seventh-place finish in the Premier League in order to fulfil his aspirations of reaching the Europa League.

The London club currently sit ninth in the table, just two points behind Wolves in seventh, and Hernandez is eyeing up that position and the potential European football that comes with it.

West Ham have been inconsistent of late, winning three and losing two of their last five games, but Hernandez wants the team to push on from here.

“I want to try to get West Ham to seventh position and into Europe – that’s the most important thing in our minds and if I keep playing as many minutes as I can and help with assists, goals and performances that’s my goal in the last games we have left," Hernandez told the official club website

Seventh place does not guarantee European football for West Ham, with the winners of the FA Cup gaining automatic qualification into the Europa League.

Watford, Wolves and Brighton are all still in contention for the FA Cup and West Ham will be hoping that Manchester City can triumph in that competition so that they have a chance for European qualification.

Hernandez also reflected on his time in the Premier League after netting his 50th goal in England's top flight against Fulham in February.

"You always aim and dream about big achievements and big numbers, but I never thought I would get 50 Premier League goals,” he added.

“In this country, winning two Premier Leagues and now being with West Ham, I am very glad and happy. Hopefully I can get more goals of course."

During his time at Manchester United and West Ham, the Mexican has earned himself a reputation as a goal poacher, and Hernandez went on to recall his first goals for both clubs.

“My first Premier League goal was against West Bromwich. I scored before with Manchester United in some other games, but that one gave me a lot of confidence in that moment. I was very young and in the early stages there, so I wanted to do my best and not have that period of adaptation. 

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“I wanted to prove that I could play in the Premier League as best as I could, as quickly as I could. So that goal gave me a lot of confidence and responsibility as well that I needed to keep working hard. Of course, we won the Premier League in that first season so that was a very good thing.

“Then at West Ham, it was my second match at this club [at Southampton], so it’s a very good start when you come to a club and have a response that quick with two great goals. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any points out of it – we had a red card so it was very difficult and they won in the end with a penalty. 

“It was a tough task, like this season, because we knew the games at the start were difficult, but that game was very important for me.”

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