Manager Sam Allardyce has stated that the Schalke 04 Cup is the perfect time for the squad to show they are ready for the Premier League kick off in two weeks time – and that no excuses of jet lag will be accepted.
West Ham take on the hosts later today, and Big Sam believes that this test will be perfect for the players fitness at this stage of pre season.
“Two games in two days means we will field two completely different teams in the hope that the players will complete 90 minutes,” said the West Ham manager.
“This will the first time they have done that in pre-season and, with the weather being as hot as it is, that’ll be really tough and take them to the edge of their fitness, and that’s exactly what we want at this time of year.
“We are over the jet lag of New Zealand. There are no excuses there and I don’t want to hear any excuses from anybody that it was that trip which caused this. That’s all rubbish.
“The negativity has left us and it’s about being positive and getting the right edge to be ready for 16 August and this is the right tournament to do that.”
Sam also revealed that summer recruitment isn’t yet compete, with one more addition expected to be made before August 16th.
“I think from a defensive point of view, we’ve finally finished our recruitment for this season. I think we now have Joey O’Brien and Aaron who can both play at left-back. Joey has filled in at left-back several times and he does just as good a job there as he does at right-back.
“That means that Carl can come in and compete with Guy Demel, so we’re comfortable in the right-back position now.
“Of course we hope our central defensive threesome of Ginge, James Tomkins and Winston Reid stays fit all season, and we’ve got two good goalkeepers so we’re defensively fine.
“Midfield, moving forward we have brought in Cheikh and he’ll have to integrate to the Premier League, which is not easy when you first arrive here, so we have to keep an eye on that.
“Diego has settled into the first-team squad quite well. I’m not saying he is going to play 20 or 30 games, but hopefully he’ll play some part this year in the Premier League.
“Then of course Enner has got into the country [England] and has brought his partner with him. That process of giving him a pre-season starts now.
“Mauro has fitted in reasonably well, but he’s had a little injury and has had slight issues with his match-fitness, but he’s here.
“We still have one more to go in the recruitment process and I’ve been speaking to the Joint-Chairmen this week. Hopefully that player will bring something in terms of our capability of scoring more goals – not creating, because we’ve always been able to create.”