Peter: Desire The Key

Peter Grant says it is important to ally "desire" to the undoubted talent in the squad to do well in the upcoming season.

Now back in England after a successful tour in Sweden, Peter says: "We want to play a certain way, with a freshness that West Ham have always been renowned for, and we want to add a bit of steel and determination, and the most important ingredient of all is desire.

"Every time you pull on that shirt you have got to give 100% to do your best and if you get that between your teeth on the training ground it is a start.

"You have got to get rid of the mentality that 'it is only training' - training is the most important thing and if you are in for two hours you have to work your socks off for two hours.

"That is the way we look at it, and we think the game at the end of the week should be the easy part."

The players had just a month of rest, and Peter adds:

"If there is a benefit in getting to the playoff finals it is that you only have four weeks' break and in that time the players look after themselves and don't let themselves go.

"They don't have enough time to do that anyway but they realise that in the professional game today you have to be in tip-top condition 52 weeks of the year.

"So when they came back we were able to get on the ball a lot quicker than we usually do in years gone past so that is obviously a benefit to us and to the players - there is no doubt about that.

"Preseason is when you try and implement things and that is when the players have to buy in to what you do."

Like the players, he sees the defeat by Crystal Palace in the final hurdle last season as being an incentive to go one better this time around, and explains: "The hurt of what happened at the Millennium stadium will never leave, no matter what anyone says, though you dust yourself down and get on with it.

"It is a day you always remember and a memory you wish you could eradicate, but that can't be the case.

"We have to be ready for the challenge again and make sure we don't have that feeling again and with me and Alan being in from the start of the campaign we can implement things the way we want it to be, which was a wee bit difficult coming in half way through the season.

"You don't like to change too much in that situation, though I am not saying there were a lot of things that needed to be changed.

"But you do implement things that other people wouldn't and vice-versa.

"It is just a different focus you have but people know from day one what is expected from us and so far, so good - they have been excellent since they came back to training and have done everything we wanted them to do.

"You tell players 'this is the way we want it to be' and if they veer off that line the 'punishment' as such, though it is not an army camp, is not necessarily financial, but it could be that you don't get in the side - as simple as that."