David Moyes was a satisfied manager after watching his internationals return to action in West Ham United’s 1-1 pre-season draw at Reading.
The Hammers were given a good test by both Paul Ince’s Royals and the hot weather at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, where Croatian Nikola Vlašić was on target, Nayef Aguerd made his first appearance and Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen, Vladimír Coufal, Alphonse Areola and Ben Johnson all made their comebacks from their belated summer breaks.
Rice hit the inside of the post during a typically energetic display as a second-half substitute, while fellow England international Bowen provided the assist for Vlašić’s header early in the second half before being denied a goal of his own by a superb save from Reading goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
With a week of training with his full squad complete and more valuable match minutes in the legs of his players – save minor injury absentees Craig Dawson and Tomáš Souček – Moyes was content with a thoroughly worthwhile workout at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
It was a decent test for us. It didn’t have a great intensity, the game, but I think the temperatures would explain that a little bit, but it was good.
We got a chance to get international players back and get some of them 45 minutes and some of them slightly longer.
For an opening game I’m pleased with it, pleased with the fitness more than anything. We’ve got a lot I want to work on as far as football goes, but I can’t complain with how we’ve looked today.
The internationals shouldn’t have lost too much as they are only three or four weeks out of playing.
It is more that getting their touch back and their positional sense and getting their sharpness back that will take a little bit of time.
I think the general fitness is all very good.
It’s been much, much better to have the internationals back and the whole squad together.
The level of players and the quality of the players has helped the group. We’ve kept some young boys around us as well, which we’re going to do.
We need everybody to start stepping up and show us what they’re doing because you start to run out of games and run out of time, so we want to keep moving it along.