Neil McDonald says West Ham United's players and staff will be raring to go when they return for pre-season training on 3 July.

The assistant manager will try to take a short break from the daily rigours of working in the Barclays Premier League following a gruelling ten-month campaign.

However, McDonald will also be kept busy during the summer preparing for pre-season training and scouting potential new signings all over the world, including at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

"You do try to have a little bit of time with your families and a little bit of a break from the pressures we are under, but the phone is always on in case we need to go and watch a player," said Macca.

"The World Cup is also on, so we will all be trying to watch different games and different personnel, so it will be a busy summer, but a relaxing summer at the same time."

As the man charged with planning and conducting many of West Ham's first-team training sessions, the assistant boss is always thinking up new drills and games to keep the players fit, sharp and focused.

With that in mind, Macca will have his notepad and pen out over the next few weeks, preparing for the return of the squad in seven weeks' time.

"That is one of my major responsibilities and we want them to come back after their break with big smiles on their faces," he continued.

"We always tweak the sessions so they don't know what is round the corner, whether that be sending them on longer runs, giving them longer with the ball or doing different exercises just to stimulate them when they first come in to get them to the level we want them before they start playing games."

The pre-season schedule will begin with a day of testing at Chadwell Heath followed by a week-long training camp.

There, the players will be put through a series of double and triple-session days to get them back into tip-top shape ahead of their opening pre-season match.

"We have to put the conditioning work in during that week, although we do also send them away with individual programmes for during the summer.

"They will have a couple of weeks doing nothing and getting some rest, then we will get them doing a little bit of running to get their body composition up. We also encourage them to eat well and look after themselves in general.

"Over the last couple of years, they have been really good when they have first come in and their standard of fitness has been good so we could get some work into them to push them even further."

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