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Javier Hernandez admits he is playing with a smile again following a mixed start to his West Ham United career.

The Mexican, who leads his country’s all-time goalscoring charts, arrived from Bayer Leverkusen over the summer with a reputation as one of the most prolific predators in the game.

However, he managed only four goals in his first 11 Premier League appearances and was ruled out with an injury after the November international break.

After returning to fitness, the 29-year-old initially struggled to break into the side under new manager David Moyes, but in his last four top-flight outings has found the net on three occasions.

Now, Hernandez says he is playing somewhere near his best and is delighted to have fought his way back into the starting line-up.

“I’m happy, not only because I’m playing my game, but because I can feel my sharpness coming back,” he told the club’s official website.

“You can see the same has happened with Marko [Arnautovic].

“Now, I’m going to try and keep that smile on my face.”

The former Real Madrid star was rumoured to be on the verge of quitting the London Stadium in January but seems to have put that speculation behind him.

Elsewhere, Hernandez admitted that he expects a less-than positive reception when the Hammers travel to face Liverpool at the weekend.

The forward spent four full successful seasons at the Reds’ rivals, Manchester United, and does not think that the Anfield faithful will have forgotten his Old Trafford connections.

Hernandez’s form in front of goal, allied with that of Arnautovic, means that the Irons will meet their Merseyside counterparts on Saturday confident of taking a result back to East London.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have their own lethal striking options and easily dismantled Portuguese giants Porto 5-0 in their last outing, a Champions League last-16 tie.

Following this weekend’s clash, West Ham begin March with a relegation six-pointer against a rejuvenated Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, before hosting Burnley the following week.

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