Squad In Great Shape For Pre-season

Alan Pardew says that the squad has returned to pre-season training in great shape and that they are all raring to go ahead of the new campaign that kicks-off with a tough away game at Leicester City on Saturday 7th August.

The squad reported to the Club's Chadwell Heath training ground on Monday and after the first few sessions Alan says that everyone is fit and eager to get stuck in.

"The boys were all really looking forward to pre-season," he said. "Everybody's come back fully fit, which is a good thing.

"The training ground has been revamped, which has set a good scenario, so they've come back to a new environment which I felt was important"

Traditionally, some players return to pre-season training somewhat below peak fitness, but with a relatively short break since the Play-Off Final against Crystal Palace, the squad are starting off again in good shape, a fact that has delighted the boss.

"We're not in the same position as some of the clubs in that we're putting the reins on them a wee bit.  We've tested the players and their fitness levels are really high. In fact, they are not far from where we left them in May.

"We're waiting for three or four players who didn't have much involvement last season and so  are slightly behind the rest, but that gives us the time to bring them up to speed."

The squad's first test will come on the tour of Sweden, which begins with the game against Umea on July 13, and Alan is ready to give everyone a thorough workout.

"We have 22 what I would class as first-team players and they're all coming to Sweden, with the exception maybe of young Mark Noble who got a jar on his back yesterday."

So, the signs are looking good for the Hammers to get off to a flying start in the new season.