West Ham continued their preseason with a 3-0 win over Boreham Wood on Wednesday. We have match highlights as well as a postgame interview with assistant manager Neil McDonald.
It was West Ham's second preseason game after they defeated Cork City 6-2 a few days earlier, and things looked good. While the opponent wasn't of the highest quality, West Ham came away with some positives.
Ravel Morrison, Ricardo Vaz Te and Kevin Nolan all scored for the Hammers, and Nolan's goal was quite a peach, as you'll see in the highlights. Just as with their game against Cork City, the Hammers featured two separate teams of 11 in either half.
West Ham was up 2-0 within 22 minutes, with Morrison scoring off the rebound and Vaz Te getting some height to head home. Nolan provided the third goal in the last 10 minutes of normal time.
Despite the wholesale changes in the second half, West Ham were dominant throughout the match. The London side were generally in control of the match, a fact that West Ham assistant manager McDonald affirmed on the club's website.
I thought we were dominant, we passed the ball really well and moved it on with a bit of tempo, more so than we did on Sunday, so that's encouraging. We were nice and tight too, so all in all it's a good start to pre-season and it gives everybody lots of confidence to try and push on.
New boys Razvan Rat, Adrian and Danny Whitehead all played 45 minutes in the game, while Andy Carroll missed out due to injury. McDonald was pleased with his new signings as well as youngster, Pelly Ruddock.
They've all settled in really well, he added. Last week in Cork and now this week back here...
Pelly Ruddock led the team out and that was nice for him. He's developed into a decent player since he came from Boreham Wood last year.
Everyone can see a difference, he's much stronger, much more comfortable on the ball and he seems to be enjoying the position we're playing him in.
So let's see how he progresses and hopefully he can put pressure on some of the first team players.
They all played in the club's first game against Cork City, and continued to ease their way into side. They still have yet to play with one key player in the West Ham setup in Andy Carroll.
Rat is likely to be the only starter out of this trio, but the others will certainly have a part to play in West Ham's season.
McDonald's comments about Ruddock suggest the youngster may see some time with the senior squad next season, though that is more likely to happen in competitions like the Carling Cup. He may improve his chances further if he continues to impress during the preseason.
The victory didn't mean much for the Hammers in the grand scheme of things. In all, the game against Boreham wooded provided little more than match fitness.
The win was expected, and though there may have been some tweaks sorted out, the Hammers know they cannot use this game as a measuring stick.
It was, however, a good opportunity to get another early game in during preseason and to continue integrating new signings. The integration of new signings is especially key.
Team chemistry, fitness, and the opportunity to knock out bad habits against opponents who aren't likely to hurt West Ham too much are also things to take away from this game. The defensive unit will be happy to have kept a clean sheet, while the attack will be pleased with nine goals in two games.
West Ham won't have a new look when the season begins but will sharpen up their style with tougher challenges against Mainz, Hamburger and Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira, which surprised many by finishing third in last year's Portuguese league.
Next up, though, is a trip to AFC Bournemouth. West Ham will be hoping to continue the positives.