From the Newsroom - Pat Sheehan

The Sun's football reporter Pat Sheehan has travelled out to Romania to cover Thursday night's game against Astra Giurgiu and we caught up with him for his pre-match thoughts.

Pat, what did you make of the manager's words in the press conference?

PS: "Much has been made of the players which he's left behind at home, but he's arrived here in supremely confident mood. I've had a chat with some Giurgiu fans and they were over the moon that they got a 2-2 draw in London. They're expecting their team to go through but they know whatever team Slaven puts out it's going to be one hell of a fight."

There's still plenty of experienced players here with West Ham...

PS: "t's a bit of a juggling act because Slaven has to leave some players back in London with a big game against Arsenal on the opening day of the Premier League season. He is also determined to give the fans a bit of a run in Europe in the last season at Upton Park. I would imagine the fans would love an extended run to say farewell to the old ground."

Last week it looked for so long that West Ham would head into this game with a healthy lead...

PS: "The red card changed everything. Right up until that time it was looking that it was going to be 3-0 or 4-0, certainly not a 2-2 draw. But the Giurgiu players knew how to handle it against ten men, they played very well, got the two goals and arrived back in Romania as heroes."
West Ham got into this competition because of fair play. That's not quite been in evidence so far - how important is keeping eleven players on the pitch?

PS: "They have to maintain their discipline. The players who have been sent off, they've apologised to their teammates and the fans and they knew they shouldn't have reacted like that, but that's football. You might make a challenge, the ref will see it one way and wave play-on. You make the same challenge in front of another ref and it's a second yellow card and you're off."

There's a bit of heatwave over here at the moment, how do you think West Ham will cope with the conditions?

PS: "As Slaven said, he has to be very clever with how he tells the team to play, especially the younger kids who are going to want to charge about the pitch at 100 miles per hour. They've got to be told to keep the ball, keep passing and conserve your energy because it's going to be a long 90 minutes in this heat."

In this run we've already seen young players make an impact. This is another great chance for them...

PS: "Of course it is. Whatever way you look at it this is a big game - it's a European game, it all adds to those kids' experience and they will want to make an impression. They're not coming here just to step aside for a first teamer in future games, they want that first team spot and will be pushing very hard."

Without wanting to put you on the spot, what would your prediction for the final score be?

PS: "It's going to be difficult for West Ham to score, but Elliot Lee has already done it and if they maintain their discipline and all play to the skill level we know they have they could well nick a result."