Wednesday 11 Jul
Updated Wednesday 11 Jul 06:30
Interviews

Nathan Holland targeting first team spot under Pellegrini

Holland and Carroll

Nathan Holland is eager to take advantage of the opportunity granted to him by manager Manuel Pellegrini and earn himself a regular spot in the first team group. 

Holland is one of a number of Academy players to travel with the new West Ham United boss and his squad to Switzerland for a two week pre-season camp, with the 20-year-old playing 45 minutes in Pellegrini's first game in charge against FC Winterthur over the weekend.

The winger is delighted to be working closely with the new manager and is targeting a spot in Pellegrini's first team squad, which Holland believes could be the reward for consistent hard work this summer. 

"The aim is to be in and around the first team this year," The 20-year-old told whufc.com. "I want to play for West Ham and I want to play at London Stadium. I've just got to keep working hard, day in and day out, and see what happens. Hopefully I will get my chance. 

Academy
Nathan Holland on pre-season with fellow Academy players Nathan Trott (L), Conor Coventry (C) and Joseph Anang (R)

 

"The new boss has given a few of us Academy lads a chance straight from the off in pre-season. It's now down to us to impress, whether it's a little quick session or it's a full game. We've got to give more than 100 per cent and show him what we can do."

Having been coached by Pellegrini for the last ten days, Holland can already see what makes the Chilean one of the world's leading managers, and is relishing the opportunity to be guided by him.

Holland continued: "He's a brilliant manager. He definitely knows his stuff, and I'm enjoying learning from him.

"He's very big on attacking football but he also knows that we need to be strong when it comes to defending, so he's been enabling us to do that and given us a platform to get even better. He's brought in a new style and I think we've adapted to it quite quickly."

Holland

Holland made his first team debut last September, coming off the bench in a 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Bolton Wanderers. However, his progression was hindered after suffering a hamstring tear in November. 

The youngster returned to action in March and is now eager to make up for lost time, having impressed during the first half against Winterthur. 

He added: "It was great to get back out on the pitch after the summer. Obviously last season, with the injury, I struggled a little bit and it stopped me from getting to where I wanted to be. But I'm fit now and I've started the season training in the senior team, so to get 45 minutes under my belt against Winterthur was excellent."