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Hammers defender aiming to impress after lengthy ban

West Ham United’s Arthur Masuaku is aiming to make up for lost time in the final part of the season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The DR Congo international was banned for six games after spitting at an opponent during an FA Cup fourth round tie with Wigan last month.

Masuaku returned to action on Wednesday evening as the Hammers beat Dagenham and Redbridge 3-1 in a friendly at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

“I’m very pleased to come back,” he confirmed. “I’m happy I had some minutes against, I would say, a tough team. It was not easy, also with the pitch, but it was good for the confidence, it’s a good win and now I’m off to the national team.

“It was good intensity and it was good for me especially as I was out for two months, so it’s always good when you have some minutes.

“I used this game as a training for me to be fit as soon as possible. I need games to be at 100 per cent, and I’m not fit yet, so I used this game to help me get as fit as I can.”

The former Olympiacos star is expected to make his return to competitive action at the end of the month when West Ham take on relegation rivals Southampton.

And following his self-induced spell on the sidelines, Masuaku says he hopes he can help fire his side to safety.

“It was a difficult time, of course, because I couldn’t help the team and with the results they we had, it was tough, but now I’m back and I hope I will help the team as much as I can.

“In the beginning, in the first week, I was very disappointed for myself, for the team and the staff and for the fans, then after that you have to move forward because it is life and everyone makes mistakes. I had my family behind me and nothing has changed. I am feeling positive.”

“I can play a great part for the team now. That is what I am thinking. I just hope I can help the team and hopefully we can get the three points, because that would be massive for us.”