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West Ham boss Curbs: Sears has taken his chance

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley saluted Freddie Sears' dream debut as the teenager ended the Hammers miserable run of results by scoring the winner against Blackburn at Upton Park.

With a point each looking likely, West Ham boss Curbishley threw on Sears with a quarter-of-an hour left - and his goal came six minutes later.

"The goalkeeper saved it, but Freddie didn't stop - he carried on," said Curbishley.

"If you stop then it's lost."

Curbishley tried a formation in training for the Rovers game, with Sears starting in attack after the teenager had impressed against first-team defenders.

"He tormented them in training," Curbishley admitted.

Sears thought he was going to start and invited his mother and father to watch the Barclays Premier League clash - but Bobby Zamora took a pain-killing injection for his blisters and was given the nod instead.

The teenager's goal moved West Ham closer to the pack chasing European qualification, and also reminded Curbishley of a goal early in his career.

"I scored in my second game and was taken home because John Lyall didn't want me going back on the bus," he remembered.

"It's all change now, and Freddie will probably jump in a 'Hummer'.

"He's got a debut to dream about. Someone said the drinks are on him, but I'm not sure if he can get in the pub.

"He's been here forever. I saw a bit of him last year, and he's come on a bundle since pre-season and has been training with the first team. Everyone has to be given a chance."

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Tribal Football Staff

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