Jurcevic happy with Slovacko workout

  • West Ham United draw 2-2 with 1. FC Slovacko in third pre-season friendly
  • Several Hammers make first appearance of pre-season
  • Assistant boss Nikola Jurcevic happy with competitive workout
West Ham United might have been pegged back at the death in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Czech side 1. FC Slovacko, but assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic preferred to focus on a positive performance.
The Hammers were the dominant force at the Stadion Rohrbach in Austria and looked well set for victory when Mark Noble and Ashley Fletcher netted in 16 minutes either side of the interval.
Martin Samuelsen, Enner Valencia and Cheikhou Kouayte all went close, only for Slovacko man Eldar Civic to notch twice in the final five minutes.
It meant the Club’s tour to Austria started with a draw, but Jurcevic was pleased with the workout and the display his team gave.
He explained: “It was a very important test for us, because we were playing a similar opponent to those who we will face in the Europa League qualification games.
“I think we played very well for most of the game, but in the finish did not have enough concentration for those final minutes. We made a lot of changes and some players were tired too.
“However, overall we can be satisfied with this match because we trained hard yesterday, we trained hard this morning and we played also without some of our important players.
“All together, I think it was a good performance from our team.  Results are not so important in these test games, it is much more important is to be fit for our games in Europa League qualification and the Premier League.”
The Hammers are now close to having their full squad back from their international commitments in Europe, South America and Africa over the summer and Jurcevic is delighted to see it all coming together.
He continued: “For us, it was a boost to have the players back and they played together for the first time in a long time.
“You could see Kouyate, Feghouli, Tore, Valencia, Randolph, they’re all in good shape and their performance was very good.”
The Hammers are back at it quickly, with a game against Rubin Kazan on Wednesday, so Jurcevic is looking forward to another useful 90 minutes.
He added: “Now we play Rubin Kazan on Wednesday and we will mix the team again. Maybe we will have some young players at half time, and we will play with more of the experienced players too.
“We’ll have players like Nordtveit and Cresswell and I think in every game we play we will be better.
“We were happy with everything in America, where we made a good job, and now we’ve started the second part of pre-season and we are absolutely happy with everything here in Austria."