Byram – US Tour has been a good start

  • Sam Byram ready for second game of US Tour on Tuesday night
  • West Ham United take on Carolina RailHawks at 1am BST
  • Byram starting first full season with the Hammers following January move from Leeds United
Sam Byram is hoping to impress Slaven Bilic when West Ham United take on Carolina RailHawks on Tuesday evening.

The attack-minded right-back caught the eye during the first half of the Hammers’ opening pre-season fixture at Seattle Sounders a week ago.

And with the UEFA Europa League and Premier League campaigns less than a month away, Byram is hoping to catch the eye of the manager at WakeMed Soccer Park (kick-off 8pm ET).

“We’re enjoying the Tour, especially as we’re getting a bit of sun for a change here in North Carolina!” Byram said. “The game is on Tuesday at 8pm and we will find out who is in the team later on!

“It’s been a good chance for the new signings to bed in and for the young players on the trip to get some training, so I think it’s a really good start.

“It’s been good out here. It’s taken a bit of adjusting to get used to the heat as we’re not used to training in this weather, but the lads are looking sharp and we’re getting fitter every day, so we’re looking forward to facing the RailHawks as it should be a good game.

“For me, at the minute the focus is to make a solid place in the West Ham team and do the best I can. Later down the line, everyone has the aim of playing for their country, so we’ll see.”

The 22-year-old joined West Ham from Leeds United in January this year, and was thrown into Premier League action just days after completing his move from the Championship.

Byram impressed immediately and started 2016/17 with the aim of establishing himself as the Hammers’ first-choice right-back – but he knows that will be far from easy.

“The main difference [between the Championship and Premier League] was the pace of the attackers, which I noticed straight away,” he revealed. “When I played against teams previously, they weren’t as quick in transition from defence to attack.

“Even in training it’s a lot sharper so it takes a while to adjust but that only makes you better as a player, playing against them and training with them, so I think I’ve improved since I’ve been at West Ham.

“I believe I’m good enough to play in the Premier League, but when you’re at a big club like West Ham there is going to be competition. Michail Antonio did fantastic at the end of last season. I’ll just try to impress and hopefully I’ll be in the manager’s plans.”

Byram is certainly enjoying life under manager Slaven Bilic, particularly the Croatian’s preference for an attractive passing style of play.

“He is very knowledgeable of the game of football and is very relaxed and down to Earth,” he continued. “He will tell you when you need to be told something and, at the same time, he is there to tell you when you get things right.

“We’re very well organised as a team, everyone knows their jobs and he gets us playing football the right way, which is the main thing. He likes to get the ball down and pass it, so I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far.”

For full details of Tuesday’s pre-season match at Carolina RailHawks, click here.