‘You can’t underestimate’ the Conference League admits West Ham attacker

Maxwel Cornet West Ham

West Ham forward Maxwel Cornet has highlighted the importance of the UEFA Conference League for West Ham and says he is determined to “win a trophy” for the Irons this season.

Cornet has had to endure a frustrating campaign with West Ham, with a succession of injuries marring his first year in London with the Hammers.

The Ivorian international was relegated with Burnley last year before sealing a switch to West Ham in August, though his move hasn’t quite worked out as well as he’d hoped so far.

However, with his fitness now restored, Cornet sees the Conference League as an opportunity for West Ham to finish the season on a high with some silverware.

Cornet’s early impact

Cornet’s career at West Ham had started positively after he chipped in with five assists in four Conference League appearances for the Hammers, though his first Premier League start for his new employers in October against Wolves ended in disaster.

The 26-year-old picked up an injury in a clash with Wanderers’ star Daniel Podence that would eventually keep him sidelined for five months.

However, Cornet has worked his way back to fitness and he will hope to see minutes this week in West Ham’s quarter-final first-leg tussle with Belgian side Gent.

Maxwell Cornet

Conference League glory the target for Cornet

Maxwel Cornet already has continental experience under his belt from his time with French outfit Lyon, where he played in both the Champions League and Europa League earlier in his career.

However, the wide attacker insists the Conference League is also a tournament of major importance and Cornet revealed his ambitions to win the competition while speaking to West Ham’s official website, saying:

“The Conference League is important. You can’t underestimate this competition, it’s an important competition, for us the players, for the Club and the coach too. So, in every game in this tournament, we will give 100 per cent.

“European experience is really important for this kind of game because it’s a high level and we know we want to do something in this competition, so we all have to be focused on this goal.

“European football is different, but you have the same goal. To win a trophy for the Club can be the best thing for me for my first season. It was not a season for me with my injury, but now I am back and I want to do everything to go to the final and win this trophy.”

West Ham’s route to glory analysed

West Ham resume their quest to lift the Conference League on Thursday evening when they take on a tricky-looking challenge in the form of Gent.

The Irons are currently the 5/2 favourites to win the tournament outright ahead of Italian side Fiorentina and French club Nice, who are both priced equally at 7/2 to win the Conference League.

Gent meanwhile, are listed among the outsiders at 12/1, with Swiss side Basel brining up the rear at 20/1. Fellow Belgians Anderlecht are available at 14/1, while Dutch team AZ Alkmaar at 9/2 and Poles Lech Poznan (16/1) make up the rest of the field.

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