West Ham United's pre-season work continued in earnest on their tour of Germany on Thursday, as the players were put through a double training session ahead of Saturday's meeting with FSV Mainz.

Sam Allardyce's squad completed a series of high-intensity football drills in the morning before hitting the gym after lunch as they work towards the big kick-off, now just over a month away.

Skipper Kevin Nolan, who came away on a similar tour with the Hammers a year ago, believes this eleven-day spell in Europe will prove equally beneficial.

Big Sam's pre-season programme left his team in good shape last term as they claimed 14 points from their opening eight games and Nolan would love a repeat.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN ON WEST HAM TV NOW

First of all Kevin, we seem to have taken the lovely weather along with us from back home...

KN - "It's always nice when you come away and the sun's shining. Don't get me wrong, it does make it a bit harder when you're doing your running and the intensity of training is so high - you sweat a lot!

"It's a nice place, I'm glad to be here, and I'm looking forward to the next ten days."

When it is this hot, does it help with the fitness to do the work in these conditions?

KN - "I think it does, but we're pretty used to the work we do year in, year out with warm-weather training."

You were with us last year when we went on a similar trip to Germany. How beneficial was that in ensuring we got off to that good start?

KN - "The most important thing is using the games to improve our fitness levels, and make sure we're hitting the right intensity levels, distance covered, everything like that.

"Mainz are a very good side, who finished last season very strongly in the German Bundesliga. It'll be a tough test on Saturday, but one that hopefully we'll get through without any injuries and with the workout that we deserve.

"If we can get a win or a good result out of it then that's another bonus.

Kevin Nolan

"I think the manager likes a bit of similarity in the things he does. He likes to go to Europe, not to travel too far - we've done Austria, Switzerland, Germany. He knows the facilities are going to be right and everything's spot on for us and we can get our work in.

"This is another tick in the right box for him, that we can get away for ten days and he can make sure we're ready and raring to go."

And to come away with the lads, training twice a day and more, does that help to bring the team together too?

KN - "We've got a few new lads and this will help them get to know the boys inside out. We've got a good unit here within the squad anyway, we've worked hard on that since I've come in.

"I read somewhere that we had a turnover of 28 players in the first season, but from last year to this there won't be that big a change. We have lost a few, but we've brought in a couple and we're hoping to bring in a few more.

"So it's a good squad out here and the banter's flying about. We're looking forward to what hopefully will be a successful trip, improving our fitness levels and staying injury-free."