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Reid knew he could achieve dreams

Published 23/07/2015

Winston Reid knew he could play in Europe with West Ham
Winston Reid knew he could play in Europe with West Ham

Winston Reid insists he always knew he could play in Europe and remain a West Ham player.

The New Zealand defender only penned a new deal with the Upton Park club in March having long been linked with a move away.

Former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce even went as far as to suggest Reid had been tapped up by another Premier League club but the 27-year-old is still at West Ham and will likely start Thursday's Europa League second qualifying round tie against Birkirkara in Malta.

Slaven Bilic's side hold a slender 1-0 lead after James Tomkins scored a late winner in the first leg and, even though the Hammers face another two rounds just to reach the group stages if they can see off Birkirkara, Reid is enjoying playing in European competition.

"Playing in Europe was one of the things I wanted to do and I felt I could achieve it with this club," he said.

"These first few rounds are tough games against teams we are not really used to, but we want to progress and reach the group stage, obviously.

"I think we have shown by our dedication and training that we aim to do that and I am sure, come Thursday night, we will go out there and put in a professional performance."

With Bilic and his players away in Malta, West Ham completed the loan signing of Argentina youth international Manuel Lanzini and the former Besiktas coach revealed his seventh summer acquisition is someone he has been aware of for some time.

"He's a good player and we are happy that he joined us," he said.

"I watched him two years ago and I wanted to take him to Besiktas. But then it was very difficult. We were close but now the chance came that we could get him and of course he's going to help us a lot. He's going to add even more creativity in the crucial parts of the pitch. "I am confident and I'm hopeful that he can adapt. We're going to see. He's not very strong but he rides challenges, he doesn't go down. So I hope he could be bingo for us. I am really hopeful and I think I have a feeling that he's going to help us a lot."

The Croatian will be hoping to use Lanzini in later European fixtures but Birkirkara coach Giovanni Tedesco is planning to give the Hammers a stern test.

"This is an easy match to prepare for because we are playing against a very good team and the motivation is high," he said.

"We are going to give it our best shot and the rest will take care of itself. We know we have to score a goal but it is not something we can just say and will happen on the pitch. This is something completely different."

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