West Ham to fine-tune in pre-season finale in France
- Credit: PA
West Ham United complete their pre-season campaign with a trip to French club Lens on Saturday (5.15pm).
And first-team coach Billy McKinlay says they will be working on fine-tuning certain aspects of their play ahead of starting their Premier League season against Manchester City on Sunday week (August 7, 4.30pm).
The Hammers were held to a 1-1 draw by Championship outfit Luton Town last weekend, with Tomas Soucek's first-half header cancelled out by Sonny Bradley's last-gasp leveller.
And McKinlay told whufc.com: "It was a tough game, another good workout in what has been a really tough week for us physically.
"We're slightly disappointed we didn't win the game, which we always want to do, but I thought the performance was improving, certainly in the middle part of the game.
"We ran out of legs a little bit in the end and missed a couple of chances which would've put the game to bed, but we're improving. There's work to do and we understand that.
"We need the games, of course, but the games also have an impact on the training pitch and your ability to do certain things.
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"We've had a busy week on that aspect, now we have a few extra days training so we can start to fine-tune certain pieces that we need to improve on.
"We look forward to seeing a continued improvement next week and pushing on towards Manchester City."
Soucek struck for the second successive game at Kenilworth Road, having also netted in the defeat against Rangers at Ibrox.
And McKinlay was pleased to see the Czech midfielder getting more minutes under his belt, adding: "He scored a goal, as he did on Tuesday, and he's a big player for us.
"It was a nice piece of play, a terrific cross and header from Tomas, which has been his trademark for the past couple of seasons.
"He missed a bit of training this past week due to a slight foot injury, so getting him up to speed again with 75 or 80 minutes was good.
"There's a little bit to do on his fitness, but it's nice to see him on the scoresheet."
It was also a good chance for the club's international players to continue their build-up to the new campaign and McKinlay hopes all will be ready for competitive action next weekend.
He said: "The players who came back from international duty are getting more game time and more minutes.
"They need that, but we have to be careful with them to some degree.
"For the physical aspect it’s been a tough week, which is what we need. They get it in their legs and then we start to fine-tune the performance.
"There’s plenty of work to do on that, we need to improve in all aspects, particularly our attacking play and the quality of our play in the final third.
"We’ll really be concentrating on that – we’ve got two weeks and hopefully we’ll be ready."