Top Teddy

THERE was no more heartening sight for the many Hammers fans that had made the journey to Trollhättan on Saturday, than that of Teddy Sheringham capping off a fine display with the third goal against the Swedish Second Division high-fliers.

The 39-year-old former England star missed the tail end of last season with a hamstring problem, but looks back to his influential best in Sweden and admits he's looking forward to taking on the Premiership again.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "The game went well for me personally on Saturday, but it was also a really solid team performance and the lads can be proud of the way we played.

"In the first-half especially the team really gelled and we put together some excellent moves. It was a very different game to the first one of the tour, but both have seen us put in good performances.

"The opposition were of a similar standard, even though Trollhättan are a division lower, and I think the game on Tuesday will again see us play at a similar level.
"I think the most encourgaing thing of all is the positive mood around the squad at the moment. Everyone is buzzing about the new season, all the lads are looking forward to the Premiership, and I'm certainly no different.

"It's great for West Ham United to be back in the Premier League and we're delighted to be a part of it."

With 20 Championship goals to his name last season, Teddy was one of the key players in Alan Pardew's squad. And despite entering the twilight of his wonderful career, the former Manchester United and Tottenham player is keen to have an impact on the coming campaign for the Hammers.

"It's impossible to predict what's going to happen, we'll just have to wait and see," he said. "All I can do is get as fit as I can over the pre-season and make sure I'm ready to go when it all starts on August 13th.

"What role I play this season is entirely down to the manager. Obviously I want to be involved as much as possible, and I still think I have a lot to give at this level.

"Whatever happens, I just want to work hard and when I get my chance to do the best I can for the Club."

It was while the team were away in Sweden last season that Teddy joined the Club on a free-transfer from Portsmouth. On that occasion the former Millwall trainee could not make the trip, but has enjoyed his time away with the squad this summer and believes it will leave them well-prepared when they return to England on Wednesday morning.

"It's good for the squad to get away together early in the pre-season build up," he agreed. "It means all the lads get a chance to bond and it definitely enhances the mood around the squad.

"We've had a few new lads come in and it helps get them involved in the squad and it's been a really enjoyable tour overall. "There's been a lot of hard work, but that's what you expect in pre-season and the lads have just got on with it.

"The training has been good, the coaches have all seemed pleased with the way we've worked and we're ending the tour in great shape. "Hopefully we'll turn in another good display on Tuesday and that will set us up nicely for the rest of pre-season."