Hammers working hard

The postponement of the Carling Cup first-round tie against Aldershot Town did not mean West Ham United's players were allowed to rest.

Instead, the squad were called into Chadwell Heath for a double training session ahead of Saturday's npower Championship trip to Doncaster Rovers.

While Scott Parker, Robert Green, Jack Collison and Pablo Barrera were away on international duty - England also trained despite the cancellation of Wednesday's friendly against Netherlands - first-team coach Wally Downes said the remaining players were put through their paces in preparation for the trip to the Keepmoat Stadium.

"The first thing the lads wanted to know was 'Where are Scott Parker and Robert Green?' because they weren't back in for training! Seriously, though, they have continued to train with the England squad and will be back with us soon," Downes confirmed.


"We split the two groups of players up. Neil McDonald took 12 players who would have been involved against Aldershot and did some shape-play and working with the defence, while I had the opportunity to have a look at the younger ones and the development squad.

"I had a good two hours out there with them and we worked on developing space in the final third and some finishing with them which was quite intense before finishing with some 3v3s which was very hard work for them."

Also present at Chadwell Heath was the towering presence of Norway striker John Carew, who joined with his new team-mates for the first time since signing for the club on Saturday.

The 31-year-old is working his way towards full match-fitness and, if all goes well, could be involved in the re-arranged tie against Aldershot on Wednesday 24 August.

Downes admitted the Hammers would like to have taken on the League Two side after the disappointment of Sunday's opening-day defeat by Cardiff City, but also looked at the positives of another full day on the training field ahead of an important league fixture.

"The game has been rearranged for Wednesday 24 August. After the disappointment of losing on Sunday, it would have been great to get back out there and get a win under our belts before going to Doncaster.

"On the other hand, it gave us an extra day to recover and I'm sure we'll go into the game fully prepared on Saturday."