Big Sam pleased with U's success

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce said his players were showing all the right signs after chalking up a fourth straight pre-season victory at Colchester United.

Goals either side of half-time from Joe Cole and James Collins ensured the Hammers ran out 2-1 winners at the Weston Homes Community Stadium - adding to earlier successes at Cork City, Boreham Wood and AFC Bournemouth.

Speaking after the game, Big Sam said his players had continued their development at Colchester and were on track to be ready for the start of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.

"It was a good workout for us, because Colchester are a couple of weeks ahead of where we are with their season starting earlier, so you would expect we would get a physical game," said Allardyce. "Our only disappointment was conceding a goal in the last minute.

"The wins, draws or losses mean nothing to what the season will entail. Whether you win them all or lose them all, it means nothing to what the first Premier League game will be.

"What is the most important thing is that on 17 of August, everyone is 100 per cent fit - not 90 per cent or 95 per cent fit - so that they hit the ground running and we can get off to what we hope can be a fabulous start to the season like we had last year.

"We are looking very good, even at this early stage, so I just hope we can keep it up in Germany."

West Ham jetted out for a ten-day pre-season tour of Germany on Wednesday morning, with three matches scheduled against Bundesliga opposition. FSV Mainz are up first on Saturday, followed by Hamburger SV in Flensburg next Tuesday and newly-promoted Eintracht Braunschweig a week on Sunday.

One player who has joined the party but who will not feature in those three matches is centre forward Andy Carroll, who is continuing his rehabilitation following a heel injury.

The England international was hurt in the 4-2 win over Reading on the final day of last season, and Big Sam revealed that the 24-year-old could miss the big kick-off at home to Cardiff City.

"Andy is still recovering," the managed confirmed. "He has got four weeks or more to go before he starts full training. His rehab is going pretty well at the moment and he will be joining us in Germany, and hopefully he will be available, as will George McCartney, as quickly as possible

"I hope it will be before [September] for both of them, but being fit and being ready to play are two different things - they may be fit from the injury, but they are unlikely to be capable of playing straight away.

"If we are going to put our lads through six weeks of preparation and then Andy gets fit with two days to go, you would not expect us to play him, would you?"