Maynard 'important to Hammers'

Hammers No.2 not expecting forward to leave

Nicky Maynard: Scored as West Ham beat Crewe in the Capital One Cup

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West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald says Nicky Maynard remains an 'important member of the squad' despite being linked with a move away from Upton Park.

Maynard contributed a goal to crown a man-of-the-match performance as the Hammers beat his former club Crewe 2-0 in the Capital One Cup second round on Tuesday night.

He had been linked with a departure after the Londoners recruited attacking reinforcements over the summer in the shape of Modibo Maiga and Matt Jarvis.

Lively

McDonald also confirmed after Tuesday's win that West Ham are in the market for another forward before the transfer window closes.

But Sam Allardyce's assistant added that Maynard remains in their plans.

The 25-year-old's volley put West Ham ahead as part of a lively individual performance, although he refused to celebrate in front of the Crewe supporters.

Maiga then doubled West Ham's lead from close range and the Mali striker would have had more had more but for a string of saves from Crewe keeper Alan Main.

"Nicky Maynard needed a game and he scored against his old team. He has put in a decent performance and that is all you can do - a decent performance and a goal," said McDonald.

"He is certainly a goal-scorer and he took his goal very, very well.

"He is involved all the time, he is on the bench. Nothing that I have heard (suggests he won't be here this time next week).

"He is an important member of the squad and he has put in a good performance today and given the manager something to think about, that's for sure."

Crewe had strong penalty appeals rejected when Harry Bunn went down under a challenge from Alou Diarra but the only mystery of the evening was how Maiga did not score more.

Pleased

The answer came in the form of Crewe goalkeeper Main, who twice denied Maiga from distance, while the Mali striker volleyed over from close range and sent a header wide.

But given it was his first start in English football, McDonald was pleased with his contribution.

"I thought he was fantastic. He is still getting used to the pace of English football and that takes time to settle in to," he said.

"Foreign players have to adjust to the English style of football and the pace of football. I thought he got stronger as the game went along."