Manuel Pellegrini is looking forward to seeing his West Ham United players in match action for the first time.
After an intensive week of training in Switzerland, the Hammers take on Swiss Challenge League side FC Winterthur on Sunday afternoon.
Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks are set to make their Claret and Blue debuts, while the Club’s senior professionals and promising youngsters will be eager to impress their new manager.
Pellegrini has been pleased with the way the squad have responded to the methods introduced by himself and his coaches and is looking forward to seeing them implemented for the first time at the Stadion Schützenwiese.
“We have had a very positive first week of work in Switzerland,” the Chilean confirmed. “We have had a very warm welcome in Bad Ragaz and the hotel and training facilities we have used have been first-class.
“I and my coaches have started to get to know the players and the staff who were already with the Club and I think we already have a good spirit in the camp.
“The players have worked really hard during the first week and I can already see the fitness levels are improving. We are also introducing them to the way we want to play football this season and they are listening and responding well."
With 30 players traveling to Switzerland, Pellegrini is set to field a different XI in each half in Winterthur, with a mixture of seniors and youngsters in each team.
The only players not available for selection will be Michail Antonio and Winston Reid, who have been working on their rehabilitation from hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
“We have our first pre-season match at Winterthur on Sunday and this will give me the opportunity to see the players in a game situation for the first time.
“We will use two different teams, with no individual playing for longer than minutes, as is the normal situation with the first match.”
Pellegrini will also test his players against Wycombe Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and German Bundesliga club Mainz before kicking-off the 2018/19 Premier League campaign at Liverpool on Sunday 12 August.