Taylor targets winning end

Matt Taylor is hoping West Ham United can sign off their German tour with a win against FC Energie Cottbus.

The Hammers were well beaten by a lively Dynamo Dresden side in Friday night's fixture after they impressed with a 3-0 win in their opening game against Rot-Weiss Erfurt. The 3-0 defeat in front of a full Glucksgas Stadion on Friday has left Taylor hoping for a winning performance at the Stadion der Freundschaft asWest Ham wrap up their tour on Sunday.

"It was important in the run up to the start of the season that we play games like that. There were 30,000 fans in there so we knew it was going to be a wonderful atmosphere. It was a chance for the guys to play a tough game against some good opposition.

"Now we go on to Sunday for what promises to be another tough game against quality opposition."

Regardless of Sunday's result, one thing for certain is that Taylor and his team-mates have enjoyed their time in Dresden and the superb hospitality they have been afforded by their hosts.

"The town is beautiful and on Thursday we had an afternoon to ourselves. We went for a bike ride on Thursday morning and it was beautiful and some of the scenery was fantastic. That's as much of the city as we've seen as we're been working so hard. "

Upon the Hammers return to the UK, there will be under three weeks to go until the big Barclays Premier League kick-off against Aston Villa. Taylor knows that the step-up from npower Championship football last season will be tough, but is confident the Hammers can emulate the likes of Swansea City and Norwich City, who both caught the eye after being promoted to the top tier last season.

"It's difficult to say what position we will finish in the league. What we want first and foremost is stability in the Premier League. It's going to be a difficult season for us and I would be foolish to sit here and state we're going to finish 8th or 9th because anything can happen in football.

"What I do know is that the manager will assemble a squad that is good enough to compete week-in, week out. We've seen in the previous season from the teams that have just been promoted have given a great account of themselves. We want to try and emulate that."

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