Joe Cole believes West Ham United will emerge from Saturday's 4-1 loss to FSV Mainz 05 as a stronger unit.
The German side inflicted a first pre-season defeat on the Hammers with two goals either side of half-time, with the visitors unable to respond, apart from Cole's volleyed-strike just after the interval.
Cole was glad for the step up in the test received and insists they will continue to improve by the time Tuesday's match with Hamburger SV comes around.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH JOE ON WEST HAM TV HERE
"It's a little wake-up call," he told West Ham TV. "We had played four good games beforehand, but this was a real test against a good Bundesliga side and we came up short.
"The result is not too important, but we're obviously disappointed because you play to win. It's a wake-up call and I expect us to be stronger when we play Hamburg on Tuesday.
"These are the games you need, and they are a bit ahead of us fitness-wise. It's another big test on Tuesday and then of course we have another [in Braunschweig] on Saturday.
"You build up gradually and we won't panic [because of this result]. The main thing is that we all came through unscathed, we got more minutes under our belts and now we move on."
Cole was pleased to get on the scoresheet from a personal point of view, and even happier to get more match minutes under his belt.
He continued: "It's always nice to score a goal and I was glad to get through the 65 minutes. I was feeling a little tight in the thigh the last few days, so I was happy to get through.
"Maybe I won't play as much on Tuesday now, as the other lads will play, but I'll look forward to the third game and this is what it's about.
"We're on tour, we're getting fit, we're training hard. It's not normal preparation - you're overloading before games, and it's just about getting through pre-season.
"We'll look to get stronger as the week goes on and get good results against Hamburg and Braunschweig."