July 19, 2018 / 4:52 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Obiang targets key West Ham role after injury setback

(Reuters) - West Ham United midfielder Pedro Obiang is eager to play an influential role in the upcoming Premier League campaign after being restricted by injury in the second half of last season.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Wigan Athletic vs West Ham United - DW Stadium, Wigan, Britain - January 27, 2018 West Ham United's Pedro Obiang reacts after sustaining an injury. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine/Files

The 26-year-old missed just four of West Ham’s first 24 league games before a knee injury disrupted his run, with the Spaniard’s solitary post-January appearance coming as a substitute in the final match of the season.

"I always try to be influential. I think every player in the squad tries to give one thing to the team and mine is probably to stop the other team and start our attacks, and I try to improve this every day," Obiang told the club website www.whufc.com.

“For the team to have balance is important ... everybody has to do his best in his position and I try to improve in mine.”

Obiang also welcomed the competition for places driven by new signings, with the arrival of England midfielder Jack Wilshere from Arsenal adding to the fight for a central starting role along with Mark Noble and Edimilson Fernandes.

“If you don’t have competition, it’s because you’re not good enough. If you do have it, it’s good and we always have to find competition with other guys, if they are young or old, and that is helping us,” he added.

“This is a team and the best player in each position has to play.”

West Ham open their Premier League campaign away at Liverpool on Aug. 12.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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