West Ham defender: This season is just about Premier League survival

George McCartney believes Hammers can consolidate their place in the top flight

West Ham defender George McCartney is confident that the club can survive in the Premier League, and believes that the Hammers have a very bright future in the English top flight.

The former Sunderland left-back made the permanent move to east London in July following a successful loan spell at Upton Park last season, and the 31-year-old knows the Hammers will have to work extremely hard in order to preserve their Premier League status.

“It will be a tough campaign as there are no easy games,” said McCartney. “At times we will have to grind out results, but the lads and all the staff will work through it to make sure that happens.”

“This season is all about consolidating Premier League football. We aim to have a good, solid season. If we do that, we will have already started building towards a successful future.”

Last summer, when McCartney joined the Hammers on loan, the left-back admits that the club had a different feel about the place, with relegation from the top flight still fresh in the atmosphere.

However, fast-forward 12 months, and the left-back says things could not be more different.

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“It’s a big difference to last year, the club had just been relegated and a new manager had just been installed,” he said.

“The club did well to bring in some key players, and I’m sure the manager will be looking to do the same this summer.”

McCartney joined West Ham midway through August last year, once the season had already started, but this season the left-back is relishing the advantages of a full pre-season programme in claret and blue.

“As you get older pre-season is a lot harder on your body, especially your legs, that’s why it’s good to come to training camps like we have had in Austria and Germany as it definitely helps,” he said.

“We had three games in six days so it’s nice to come away and train in the warm weather. We have also had a few hours to ourselves which helps team bonding, and all the lads have been working hard both on and off the pitch.”

Sam Allardyce’s team are next in action this Saturday with a trip to Ipswich Town and McCartney is confident that the Hammers will put in their best performance yet.

“We have played teams that are starting their seasons very soon and we still have a few weeks to go to reach our optimum fitness and mental levels,” he said.

“I’m sure the manager will be looking to field the strongest team he can in the final couple of pre-season games.”

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