Bowyer backing West Ham to be ready for tough opening match

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Former West Ham United player Lee Bowyer is confident his old side will be ready for their game against the Gunners this weekend.

Former West Ham United player Lee Bowyer told talkSPORT that he feels the Hammers will be fully prepared for the start of their Premier League season against Arsenal this weekend.

It’s been an interesting pre-season for the Hammers, with some difficult games in Europa League qualification, new players coming in and a change of philosophy from new manager Slaven Bilic.

The intensity now increases because the game away at Arsenal will produce a higher pace and tempo than anything the club have so far experience over the last few weeks.

“You know what it's like with pre-season, you play and you don't want to pick up any injuries, you don't give 100% and you just want to get through pre-season as well as you can - Match day when it kicks off at the weekend, I'm sure they'll be ready,” he told talkSPORT.

A real opportunity

The fact West Ham have already had some competitive games should mean they are sharp and alert for the game against the Gunners.

They will be thoroughly tested but in terms of the fitness levels of key players, there are no excuses for the side not maintaining complete concentration throughout the game.

Bilic is also a manager who demands complete focus from his players and he will ensure that the team is ready for that step up in tempo and quality.

If he sees anyone relaxing just the smallest bit ahead of such a big game for the club, they could quickly find themselves out of the team and sitting on the bench.

It’s the first game of the season so a win isn’t vital, but based on the manner in which the Hammers finished last season, there will be a determination from Bilic for a professional and positive performance.

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