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DANNY Gabbidon is one of four Welsh internationals who are now part of Alan Pardew's squad.

Along with fellow Cardiff City recruit James Collins, Carl Fletcher and Gavin Williams, the Hammers are becoming something of a home from home for John Toshack's squad.

The Welsh connection has certainly helped 25-year-old Danny to settle in East London, but he insists the rest of Alan Pardew's squad have been brilliant in welcoming the new arrivals.

And with Wednesday's visit to take on TSV Munich 1860 in the Allianz Arena, Danny is looking forward to another away trip with his new team-mates and hopefully another impressive performance to go with it.

"We know this is going to be a big game for the fans in Munich and all the lads are looking forward to the trip," he said.

"The players have been great to me and the other new players. There is a terrific atmosphere in the squad and we've all been made to feel a part of that.

"The Sweden trip certainly helped to bond the team and I'm sure the Munich trip, although it's much shorter, will be good for us as well.

"Settling in has been much easier than I expected. The Welsh connection definitely helps. If I'd come down on my own it would have been a lot harder, but having James Collins, the new physio team of Steve Allen and Paul Hunter, and the two other Welsh lads it's made it easier to adjust.

"We all know each other well and it's becoming a little mini Wales down here in the East End. Quite a few of us are finding our way down here, and if we could have four West Ham United players in the Wales squad it would be great for the Club.

"I also spoke to Jobi McAnuff, who is at Cardiff now, before I came down and he told me what a friendly club West Ham United is.

"He's been proved right because everyone from the players and staff to the fans have been great."

With 17 international caps, Danny has already tasted life at the sharp end of football. But, with his first season in the Premier League beckoning, the former West Brom trainee is looking forward to the new challenge of top-flight football.

"The Premiership has obviously been my aim since I started playing football," he explained. "Every player wants to play against the best and I want to challenge myself and see if I can hold my own.

"Obviously I have got a lot of work to do before I can get into the West Ham United first-team, and that's my goal at the moment.

"But if I can manage that then I'm really looking forward to pitting myself against the best players in the world."

To make the grade in Alan Pardew's side, Danny must overcome the challenges of Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, James Collins and Malky Mackay - and the Welsh star knows that will not be an easy task.

"We've got some excellent defenders," he agreed. "Malky brings tremendous experience to the squad and I can see him being a great asset to the team this season.

"Of course, Anton and Elliott did great at the end of last season. I've been really impressed with them, because they're young defenders but they play with the discipline of senior pros.

"James and I have talked about the other players in our position and we both agree that Anton and Elliott are superb players. Hopefully we can all learn a lot from each other and obviously with just two shirts to play for it's going to be a big challenge to see who gets those places.

"James and me have come in and it's up to us to impress the manager enough to earn our places.

"We all get on really well already, but it should be a good battle over the final couple of weeks of pre-season."