Paul's Debut Delight

DEFENDER Paul Konchesky insists that he can't wait for the games to come after playing his first 90 minutes for the Hammers in their 3-1 win over Falkenbergs FF.

The 24-year-old England international looked assured at left-back, delivering the cross which Marlon Harewood converted for the team's second goal.

"I was pleased with the way I played," said Paul. "It was just good to get out there for the first time and play with the lads. "It was a competitive game, which is what we needed, and it was good to go out and get stuck in.

"The manager told me before the game that he wanted me to push on from full-back and put balls into the box, so that's what I tried to do. "I managed to pick out Marlon with one at the back post and he put it away really well. It was pleasing to be involved in one of the goals, but the game was more about getting our match fitness up and blooding us new lads into the team.

"Really I just want to play games and hopefully I'll get some more match time on this tour. Obviously I played for 90 minutes against Falkenbergs, so I don't know about tomorrow's game.

"But I'm hopeful of getting some more games. If not then it'll just be a case of working hard with the rest of the lads and getting as fit as possible over the next week."

Paul played behind Luke Chadwick on the left-hand side and looked to have forged a solid understanding. He's also well-known to Matty Etherington, having played with the former Tottenham player for the England Under-21s.

"It was good to play up the left with Luke," added Paul. "He's a top player and we did pretty well together. But I've also played with Matty before with England, and I know how good he is, so hopefully whoever plays we can make that left side even stronger for West Ham.

"I'm the type of full-back who likes to push on and get involved further up the pitch. But defending is my main responsibility and I think I can keep it solid down that side for us.

"I know that last season the left was a strong area for the Club and hopefully if I can force my way into the side then I can keep it that way in the Premiership."

This is not Paul's first tour of Sweden, having previously visited with Charlton. But the defender is certainly enjoying the experience with his new team-mates.

"It's always a bit daunting when you come to a new club," he explained. "I knew one or two of the lads anyway, but still, it's never easy when you are trying to settle into a new team.

"It's going really well, though. The lads are a great bunch, they've all made me feel welcome and a part of things, and that's really all you can ask.

"Coming away with the team definitely makes you feel more a part of things. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult when you are not training, but this tour is good because the games come quickly and it keeps things moving.

"Now we're looking forward to the match against FC Trollhättan tomorrow and hopefully another good performance."