Joey O'Brien was happy with a tough week's work as West Ham United wrapped up their Germany tour with a 2-2 draw against FC Energie Cottbus on Sunday afternoon.
The Ireland international defender started every game on the trip, playing the first 45 minutes on each occasion. The matches were O'Brien's first taste of action in pre-season and he looked comfortable when playing at either centre-half or his more familiar position of right-back.
"For myself, as I missed the games at the start of pre-season, it has been great for me to come out here and not only train fully but play in the matches," he said. "It is all about getting some game time under my belt, that is the most important thing for all of us.
"I'm pleased the manager picked me and it was another step in the right direction."
After the drama and atmosphere of Friday night's game against Dynamo Dresden, Sunday afternoon's game was a more low key affair but still provided plenty of excitement for 10,000 fans watching from the stands. Both games succeeded in offering a solid test as the countdown to the Premier League kick-off draws ever closer.
"You need to work hard in training in the heat so you feel better, fitter. The other night against Dresden, the atmosphere was fantastic, with the way their fans were signing.
"The Cottbus game was another good match and that is good as we work towards the first game of the new season against Aston Villa."
The Hammers have spent the week training hard in Dresden and O'Brien believes that as well as getting fitter and fitter, the group have also grown closer during their stay. For the likes of Modibo Maiga and Jussi Jaaskelainen, it was a chance to get to know their new team-mates by spending 24 hours a day with them.
"We have a great bunch of lads, some of whom now have been here a while.We also have some good Academy boys here with us as well and it is good to have them here and to see them blossoming. They're cheeky, yes, but all good banter.
"I have been here a year now and the thing that stuck out with everyone last season was that the manager, staff and players stuckgether. We had some tough times but sticking together got us through it all and we got where we wanted to be in the end.
"We will be doing that again to get us through the new challenges this season."