Assistant boss Hammers home new philosophy

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New West Ham assistant-manager Neil McDonald has spoken of his desire to instil a forward-thinking mentality at the club, in an effort to help them bounce back to the Barclays Premier League this season.

McDonald, who was brought in by Sam Allardyce after working with him during his time at Bolton Wanderers, has spoken positively of the team’s progress during their pre-season training camp in Switzerland.

Despite losing 2-1 to Swiss teams FC Basel and Young Boys in the space of 48 hours, the new assistant believes the work undertaken by the squad during their weeklong stay in the country will pay dividends this season.

Speaking to, McDonald said: “"We're trying to create an atmosphere that's positive after what happened last season with the relegation, and we're trying to give them information on how the manager wants to play.

"They haven't done it all the time in the two games but they have done it and that's very, very encouraging considering we've only been back to work for a week.”



The training-camp has seen the players take on a gruelling schedule with up to three sessions a day, and McDonald admits the training has taken its toll on the squad but will be worth it when the Npower Championship gets underway.

"It has been a very, very long week. They've looked a little bit tired and heavy legged, but that's only natural because of the work that we've been doing," he continued.

"The games have come thick and fast which probably wasn't ideal after all the training that we've done, but they've got through and showed a willingness to try and do the right things.

"We've still got a lot to work on and still got lots of things that we need to put into their minds. They obviously have to get fitter, which is part of what pre-season is all about.

“When we get back to England, it'll be all systems go again. It's hard work all the way to Cardiff City at home on 7 August."

Despite the defeats on tour, McDonald has moved to dismiss the importance on results to concerned fans, and insists that training is all that matters in the current stage of proceedings.

He said: "It's pre-season and the games are incidental to a certain extent. Yes, you have to perform and try to entertain, which I think we've tried to do. We've scored a couple of goals and conceded a few, which hopefully we can eradicate as pre-season goes along, and then progress on things we need to progress on.

"We've still got plenty of pre-season games to get things right. We've played two games already and we've only been back for a week, which is a big ask for the players, along with all the training that we've been doing.”

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