Bilic satisfied with Hammers start

Slaven Bilic saw enough from his side’s 0-0 draw with Sturm Graz II in their first pre-season friendly to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Each West Ham player saw 45 minutes of action in a bid to work on their fitness, with Bilic expressing his delight at the level of his players, while talking up their need to improve in front of goal.

He said: “It was as we planned – two sets of 45 minutes as a part of the training programme. We trained this morning before the game and the guys have also done a bit of extra running after playing this evening.

“It was a competitive game – Sturm Graz were a very lively team and they can play football. Of course they are at a different level, and we should have scored maybe five or six goals.

“But, to be fair, we are not scoring enough goals in training at the moment, so it was the same in the game, but running-wise it was a good session for us.

“It was a good opponent for this stage but if we are looking strictly at the game, we have to score goals.”

West Ham play Fulham on Thursday with Bilic set to use this game in a similar manner.

He continued: “We planned this part of the pre-season in Austria completely based and focused on the training, so the two games here are a part of the training.

“On Thursday we have a better opponent in Fulham, but the approach is still the same and it fits around our training. In Germany, we are still going to train hard there but it is going to be based more on the games.”

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