Zavon shows his potential

AMID THE experienced international stars on both sides on Saturday, a raw youngster in claret and blue showed that if you have the pace, the skill and the nerve you can still be the star of the show. Last week, West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola was full of pr

AMID THE experienced international stars on both sides on Saturday, a raw youngster in claret and blue showed that if you have the pace, the skill and the nerve you can still be the star of the show.

Last week, West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola was full of praise for the first Premier League start of Zavon Hines at Wigan, this week the superlatives went up a notch or two.

"I think he was fantastic," said the boss. "He did very well last week as well, but today he was even better against a difficult team.

"The boy is taking his chances very well, he has been terrific and also he helped the team defensively too, so congratulations to him."


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Hines could and probably should have opened the scoring after just two minutes when he robbed Jamie Carragher and went through, only for Pepe Reina to stand up well and the striker to hit his shot against the post.

But he got the better of Carragher again on 29 minutes to win a penalty and watch Alessandro Diamanti level the scores from the spot.

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"The boy is making himself very important for the team and that is what it is all about," said Zola. "If he can keep playing the way he is, then he can become more and more important, but it is down to him to keep things this way as long as possible.

"He is very, very good and he is making himself established in the team and that is totally down to his work and his attitude."

Hines worked well with West Ham striker Carlton Cole on Saturday, and the England centre forward had some words of encouragement for the 20-year-old Jamaican-born star.

"Zavon is a good player," he said. "He's trained with us and knows how to play with us, and he can score goals too.

"He's a real talent and an asset for the club, hopefully he can keep going from strength to strength."

Many more games like Saturday's and it won't be long before he finally breaks his Premier League duck.

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