Matty feeling the benefit of hard work

Matthew Etherington admits that the hard work Hammers have put in during the first three weeks of the pre-season build-up will benefit them when the new Premier League campaign kicks off.

The Hammers winger looked sharp during Tuesday night's 1-1 friendly draw at Leyton Orient and, with just over two weeks to go before the visit of Manchester City to Upton Park on August 11, is in confident mood.

"I felt good against Orient," he says. "The legs were a bit heavy towards the end, but it was very tough in Austria last week and I think the lads were feeling that a bit.

"We worked very hard out there in hot, humid conditions, but I think the lads will benefit from it in time. I felt sharper at the start tonight and hopefully I'll be up to full speed in a couple of weeks.

"I think the worst of the hard work is behind us now, we're on to the ball-work and short, sharp stuff, so I'm sure the performances will start to improve as we get used to that.

"I'm raring to go now, ready to fight for my place and looking forward to the new season."