Mark Robson is eager for his West Ham United U21s side to make a strong start to the 2022/23 Premier League 2 campaign.
The young Irons get their new season underway on Friday afternoon with a trip to west London to face Fulham, who were promoted last year after finishing top of Division 2.
As the development side prepare for their opening league test, lead coach Robson is happy with how the team have worked and trained during pre-season and is hopeful those levels carry into Friday’s fixture.
“It’s been a good pre-season,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of really good trips and we’ve done some good bonding with the younger lads that have come in, and the new staff as well. Everyone has worked really well and, physically, the boys look like they’re in decent shape.
“Overall, there’s been a couple of good performances and a couple that we’re quite as good as we’d like, but every team has ups and downs, and I thought we showed some real good stuff against Dagenham.
“We play our first game on Friday and the plan is to hit the ground running in the league, and fingers crossed we’re able to do that.”
Fulham, despite only just being promoted, are familiar opposition for West Ham United. The two teams met in the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup at the end of April at Rush Green Stadium.
Despite the Cottagers being in the division below at the time, the away side put on a composed performance and were able to beat the Irons by a 1-0 score-line.
Robson acknowledged that Fulham were the better team that day and hopes the Hammers have learned from their efforts last time out.
"We played Fulham last season in the Premier League Cup and, to be fair to them, they were very good when they came down to us,” he added. “I thought they looked really organised and, on the night, they were the better team.
"We had no qualms about that because they were the better side and we didn't perform as well as we could. Hopefully we'll give them a better game this time around and I'm sure the lads will be up for it."