George McCartney believes West Ham United can survive in the Barclays Premier League, revealing that top-flight consolidation will provide a perfect platform for a very bright future.

McCartney re-joined the Hammers on a permanent basis on 1 July after spending last season's promotion-winning campaign with the club on loan from Sunderland.

The 31-year-old is under no illusions about the difficulty of the upcoming season or the enormity of the task, but believes hard work and commitment will see the club surpass all expectations.

"It will be a tough campaign as there are no easy games," said McCartney. "At times we will have to grind out results, but the lads and all the staff will work through it to make sure that happens."

"This season is all about consolidating Premier League football. We aim to have a good, solid season. If we do that, we will have already started building towards a successful future."

McCartney also revealed the positive change in atmosphere at the club over the past year, admitting last summer was a difficult time for the club.

"It's a big difference to last year, the club had just been relegated and a new manager had just been installed.

"The club did well to bring in some key players, and I'm sure the manager will be looking to do the same this summer."

Sunday saw the club's pre-season tour of Germany come to a close, and McCartney believes the importance of foreign training camps cannot be underestimated.

"As you get older pre-season is a lot harder on your body, especially your legs, that's why it's good to come to training camps like we have had in Austria and Germany as it definitely helps.

"We had three games in six days so it's nice to come away and train in the warm weather. We have also had a few hours to ourselves which helps team bonding, and all the lads have been working hard both on and off the pitch."

Next up for Sam Allardyce's squad is a trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon, and McCartney believes his side will put in their best performance yet against a team at a similar stage in their preparations.

"We played teams last week that are starting their seasons very soon and we still have a few weeks to go to reach our optimum fitness and mental levels.

"I'm sure the manager will be looking to field the strongest team he can in the final couple of pre-season games.

"The Aston Villa game is still a few weeks away so have a little more time to get ourselves focussed, and hopefully sign a few more players to ensure we are fully prepared."

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