West Ham United skipper, Mark Noble has said that the Hammers' pre-season preparations are "going well".
Not about results
In terms of results, it hasn't been a good start to pre-season from Slaven Bilic's side. The Hammers have yet to win a pre-season contest, with draws against the Carolina RailHawks and FC Slovacko and defeats to Seattle Sounders and a 3-0 defeat to Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.
Goals from Marko Devic, Maxime Lestienne and Gukdeniz Karadeniz gave the Russian side the victory, but Noble believes that it has been an effective pre-season so far.
Noble told whufc.com: “It’s been a really good camp" and the "training has been great in perfect weather, and we’ve had a couple of tough games too". He believes, "The lads are getting their fitness back after a good holiday and a tough last season, and it’s going well."
He continued: “The games we’ve played against Slovacko and Rubin Kazan have been great for us because we’ve got as many minutes as possible under our belts." He did, however, admit: "Obviously the results haven’t gone for us but we don’t worry about that at this stage."
Noble was quick to reassure supporters, though: "players coming off the pitch fit, healthy and ready to train for the next few days." He also said: "This is what pre-season’s all about, the Gaffer trying new things, new players coming in and trying to blend as a squad together."
Youth coming through
Back in the English capital, the club are carrying on with business as youngster Vashon Neufville signed his first professional contract.
The 17-year-old was a key part of Terry Westley's side that won the U21 Premier League Cup, and shared his delight at signing his professional deal.
He said: "I’m so glad to sign the contract and I can’t wait to carry on [next season]. Last season was good because I was pushing myself."
Neufville admitted: "Next season, I want to stay consistently with the U21 squad." He said "it would also be great to get a couple of appearances or be on the bench for the first team", and believes there is a "real pathway to the first team for younger players".
Neufville concluded, "That’s why I’m glad to sign my first pro contract here".
West Ham United will take on Karlsruher SC on Saturday, July 23 with kick-off at 4pm BST.