Terzic - It is great to see Alex back on the pitch

West Ham United first-team coach Edin Terzic was thrilled to see Alex Song back in action and hopes he can play a major role for the Club this season.

Song has been forced to miss the start of the season with an ankle injury, but has been working hard behind the scenes to regain full fitness and made his first appearance of the season as he played an hour in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Boleyn Ground.

Teenage forward Jaanai Gordon scored the winning goal as the Hammers recorded a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace but it was the return of Song that stole all the headlines.

Terzic is hoping the former Barcelona and Arsenal star can regain the form which saw him become such a fans favourite in the first half of last season and says his experience is crucial for the rest of the dressing room.

Terzic said: “It was great to see Alex back in action, not only for the coaches but also the fans as well.

“It is a good moment to see him back on the pitch. He had a great season last year and it is great for us to have him back.

“He was one of the best players in the league last year so he is raising our quality and our level and taking us to the next step.

“He is very experienced and very funny. He is always in a good mood and his dressing style is a little bit crazy but he is very important for the team.”

Manager Slaven Bilic also used the opportunity to give a run-out to summer signings Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio, while club skipper Mark Noble, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell and Mauro Zarate also got more minutes under their belt.

Terzic says it is important for the players to keep up their fitness levels over the international break and ensure they are in the best possible shape as they prepare to face a big London derby against Tottenham on November 22.

Terzic added: “It is very important to give all the players the opportunity to wear the West Ham shirt, not only in training but in games as well.

“This game was organised for players who have not had a lot of minutes at high competition rate on the pitch.

“As a coach we know we need all of the boys through the whole season, especially now when we have a couple of injuries. Everyone will get their opportunity to show their power on the pitch."