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West Ham boss Allardyce hails Downing debut performance

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce was delighted with Stewart Downing's performance in victory over Cardiff City.

Downing celebrated his £5million move from Liverpool with a lively 20-minute cameo as goals from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan gave the Hammers a comfortable start to the season.

"There's no need to ask Stewart if he can prove himself because he's already done that. He's a top quality Premier League player and has been for a number of years," Allardyce said.

"We didn't start him because he was short of match time during pre-season. Cardiff were tiring and the spaces were getting wider, so off he went.

"What he contributed was exciting and he's glad to be here, that's the most important thing. We hope he gave the crowd a look at something they'll see all season."

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