Pablo Fornals is desperate for West Ham to turn a miserable season into a memorable one after firing them into a European final.
The Hammers, who have battled relegation all season, will have the chance to lift their first trophy in 43 years when they take on Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final in Prague next month.
Fornals, on as a substitute, sealed a 1-0 win over AZ Alkmaar on the night, and a 3-1 aggregate victory, with his stoppage time strike.
The Spanish midfielder said: “It’s unbelievable really. I’m really happy for the club because it was a long time without the club being in this situation. I’m really happy to arrive at this moment with this club.
“First of all, thank you for the people who came here, they’re massive everywhere they go! We know already they’ll be in Prague as well because that’s what West Ham supporters do, they’re always behind us. I’m really happy to be with them.
“Of course, just to have the chance to play the final is very good but after this complicated season, if we can bring the cup to east London it will be even better. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
West Ham’s glory night in the Netherlands was marred by the sight of hooded AZ Alkmaar fans trying to storm into the area containing friends and families of West Ham’s players and staff at full time.
Players including Lucas Paqueta, Michail Antonio, Flynn Downes, Aaron Cresswell, Angello Ogbonna and Said Benrahma, as well as sporting director and former captain Mark Noble, leapt over the advertising hoardings to try to protect their loved ones.
“To be honest, I didn’t see a lot,” added Fornals. “When the referee whistled for the end I just threw myself into the floor and started crying like a kid.
“After that I went inside and tried to keep the guys in because we don’t need that as players. Obviously, I was really concerned about how the family of my team-mates and the West Ham family are.
“Hopefully, everyone is OK and the police can do their job and realise who did it.
“Of course. It’s not great when you are in that beautiful moment and people who aren’t try to use violence against you. We can’t do anything else but try to help the police to realise who did it and pray for the family of my people being healthy.”
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