Alan's Spanish Test

ALAN Pardew is looking to end this pre-season campaign on a high at Upton Park against Spanish side Club Athletico Osasuna on Saturday.

The two sides will do battle for the Out Performance Display Cup, with Pards using the game to fine-tune his squad ahead of next weekend's opening Premier League game against Blackburn Rovers.

After a pre-season of hard graft for the Hammers squad, Pards believes his team could not be better prepared going into their Premiership return.

"For the players, this has been one of the most gruelling pre-season build-ups I've been involved with," he said. "The squad have worked incredibly hard up to this point and we're looking for another good performance against Osasuna at Upton Park to complete what has been a very encourgaing pre-season.

"It'll be a tough test against a very good side from La Liga, but we feel that it will be a good end to our pre-season programme.

"The final game will give us a chance to build that last bit of sharpness in the players ahead of the new season. As far as physical preparation goes I've been extremely pleased with the work we have done.

"This is a well-prepared team, and that is testament to the staff we have at West Ham United now. I think my staff here is as good as any in the Premier League, including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, and the spirit in the squad is excellent.

"Our focus on the start of the season is extremely high. The players are hungry, they want to do well in the Premiership, and we feel that we are almost ready.

"I've been pleased with the additions we've made to the squad. Our main transfer targets in the likes of James Collins, Danny Gabbidon, Paul Konchesky and Roy Carroll we managed to secure early in the summer and that has given us a strong group of players to work with.

"Yossi Benayoun chose to join West Ham United when there were a number of other clubs in for him, and I think that proves what an attractive Club West Ham United is to players.

"There is a huge tradition here and a heritage of playing good football. That's what players look for at clubs, because as a player you want to play in a team that gets the ball down.

"We're strong in every department now and even just by watching the training sessions you can see what a huge boost the new players have given the squad."

However, there is still one area of the team that Pards is hoping to strengthen.

"We're in the process of trying to bring in at least one, but possibly two, strikers," he revealed. "We would like to have two strikers in the squad by the time the transfer window closes at the end of August.

"Unfortunaely, it did not work out for us with Emmanuel Adebayor, because Monaco did not want to sell. That door has now closed for us, but I'm a great believer in fate and this gives us the opportunity to move on and pursue other targets.

"Our sights are set high,  but that is because of the quality we already have in the squad. There is no point bringing in a player in any position who is not going to improve the team. At the moment we have Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora, Teddy Sheringham and also Yossi Benayoun who can play up front.

"We're not looking for a particular mould of player, but any player that can improve our squad and will add competition in attack will be of interest to us.

"We are looking at a number of options at the moment and I'm hoping to bring in a player who could help inspire West Ham United to a strong finish in our first season back in the top-flight."