Key figure shares interesting advantage West Ham have this season over past two years

General view inside the London Stadium

West Ham United will not have the Europa League to contend with this season.

HammersOS Picture Supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** 2011-02-10T205903Z_01_CLH101_RTRIDSP_3_OLYMPICS-LONDON-STADIUM.jpgWest Ham's London Stadium

Hammers' newly appointed Head of Medical Services Gary Lewin wrote a column for the club's official website, and highlighted a huge advantage the squad have this time around, over last year's pre-season.

Lewin, the former Arsenal and England physio, has been in his role at West Ham for three weeks, and what with their horrendous injury record last term, he arguably faces the toughest challenge of his career at the London Stadium.

Getting to the bottom of ongoing issues for the likes of Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho will surely feature highly on Lewin's priority list.

And the east Londoner's fitness supremo told how a pre-season schedule without the inclusion of Europa League football could prove to be a major plus for the Hammers as far as their hopes for a successful Premier League campaign are concerned:

West Ham's Andy CarrollWest Ham's Andy Carroll

"For the last two summers, the Club have had early competitive football in the Europa League, and that can be tough. It’s not so much the early start, but more the unknown aspect of it when you are planning – who are we playing, where are we travelling. That can make it difficult to plan individual programmes for players who may be at different levels of fitness and conditioning. This year we can set in stone what we are doing, and have a pre-conceived plan all the way through to August 12. We can all be on the same page, with the same levels of fitness and, hopefully, have everyone relatively injury-free and ready to go."

West Ham's pre-season will consist of training camps in both Austria and Germany, before they head to Iceland to take on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City one week before the start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

And Hammers fans will be looking for a better start to the season than the one their club experienced last term.

Diafra Sakho celebrates after scoring the first goal for West HamDiafra Sakho endured serious injury problems last season

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