Manager delighted with display

Avram Grant declared himself "very pleased" after his first taste of life as West Ham United manager ended in a 2-1 victory at Peterborough United.

The friendly match was a welcome contest for the new manager and he was able to assess 24 players - including scheduled half-hour run-outs for the fit-again Herita Ilunga and Kieron Dyer. The duo could be like new signings for the Hammers after missing out on the majority of last season but the one actual new recruit to date this summer was to prove the main man.

Grant was full of praise for Thomas Hitzlsperger's contribution after the Germany midfielder lit up London Road on Wednesday evening with some delightful passing and strong box-to-box work - all capped off by a great assist for Carlton Cole's opener.


"He is a good player," said the manager, who was also pleased with the likes of match-winning Academy graduate Anthony Edgar. "I said when I started here that we want good professional players that know how to play good football that can help our young talented players. You saw this tonight. Thomas did very well.

"We want to see young players in the team. Alongside them though we want good positive experienced players and Thomas is one of them. He is our first signing and he is so professional and a good example for the others."

Grant also acknowledged Cole's contribution in a lively first half that saw him spearhead a three-man forward line with Luis Boa Morte and Junior Stanislas. "Carlton was good. He scored a fantastic goal. He is important for us and we are very pleased to see all the injured players come back and play without any problems.

"I am very pleased. We have trained for ten days and this is just the first game. The players did their job. We had a lot of young players from our Academy and, as it was the first game, we didn't want anyone to play more than 45 minutes. It is always good to have a winning start."

With the squad plus Scott Parker - who returned to Chadwell Heath this week - heading off to Germany on Friday, the pre-season preparations will take another step forward. FIFA World Cup quartet Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector and Valon Behrami will all join up next week along with Alessandro Diamanti, who has been given a few days' paternity leave.

Grant said there could also be a couple of others in the mix as well for the coming weeks. "We are trying to bring in a few more players that can improve the team, improve the squad. Our target is to make signings this week but we cannot talk about them until they are done. In football anything can happen until the last moment."

He revealed that his only thought is to continually improve, and therefore would not be drawn on defining an exact number of players that would be arriving. "It is not a number. It is about players that can improve the team. If it will be two it is two, if it is five then five. We want players that can improve us and this is our target, not numbers. "

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