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May, 19, 2012

Vaz Te delights in promotion

Ricardo Vaz Te praised his team-mates after his goal saw West Ham promoted back to the Premier League.

• Blackpool 1-2 West Ham United

Vaz Te netted in the 87th minute of the Championship play-off final against Blackpool at Wembley to ensure the Hammers made an instant return to the top-flight under Sam Allardyce.

Having joined West Ham from Barnsley in January after a previous spell with Hibernian, the former Bolton man was delighted to be returning to the Premier League.

"It's a great effort form the lads," Vaz Te told Sky Sports. "It's not about the goal - we showed great character. I think we deserved it. We're a Premier League side and we deserved to go up.

"It's terrific really. I feel like I have been blessed with a second chance in my career and it's great to be here."

Vaz Te said it is important the Hammers approach life back in the top-flight with a positive attitude.

"It is another step, a big challenge," he said. "We must get there with the mentality that we're a Premier League side and not there to fight for relegation. West Ham is a great club."

Sam Allardyce accepted that the result could have gone either way but was simply delighted to have secured promotion.

"Blackpool were easily as good as us today but it is about taking your chances and no more so that today," he said. "We managed to swing it just at the death. It's 49 games and it's the first one we've won in the last few minutes this season. I'm sure (owners) David Sullivan and David Gold will be very happy.

"It was a magnificent game, end to end, and in the end we got one more goal than Blackpool.

"It's everything to me. It was difficult at the start to turn the club around with the relegation problem we've had but we turned it round and came good at the end.

"I'll look forward to the celebrations first before I start worrying about the Premier League next year. We're just delighted about how much it means at West Ham for the players, the owners, the staff and the 30 or 40,000 fans here."

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway revealed victory would have earned them a share of a £5 million bonus and shrugged off reports linking him with Aston Villa.

He said: ''The players certainly did me proud. Some things in life are harsh and it certainly feels that way at the moment. They scored with their first chance and we had a couple better than that.

''It was on a knife edge, it's the spin of a coin and it's dropped their way so well done, good luck to them, we'll dust ourselves down and start again.''

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