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Cause for optimism, says Ogbonna

Filed: Thursday, 26th July 2018
By: Staff Writer

Angelo Ogbonna says there is renewed optimism in the West Ham camp ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

And that, says the Italian defender, is largely down to the introduction of new manager Manuel Pellegrini and his fresh ideas.

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"We have been working really hard and I think this is giving us a lot of optimism for this season," the 30-year-old centre half told West Ham's website.

"The new manager is a really good person. We work with him every day on the shape and on the defensive line in the team. He wants us to stick together and keep working for each other.

"The defence isnít just us in the back line - itís down to the whole team to defend. We have to decide as a team who will be pressing high and when it is time to just wait to intercept passes or attempts through the lines.

"I think itís important to know what we are all doing Ė every player on the pitch Ė and we are working really hard on that."

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Ogbonna, who is preparing for his fourth season at West Ham was part of the team that comfortably beat Championship side Aston Villa 3-1 at Walsall's Bescot Stadium last night thanks to goals from Michail Antonio, Marko Arnautovic and Robert Snodgrass.

It was a game in which the Hammers thoroughly impressed during the opening 45 minutes - especially new signings Felipe Anderson and fellow central defender, Fabian Balbuena - before making a string of substitutions.

"Looking at games like tonight, against Villa, I think weíre seeing the benefits of that hard work," added the Italian. "We were really compact and really focused. We knew what we had to do to stop Villa from getting forward and we did it really well.

ďThe new players have mixed into the team really well. They are all working hard - as we saw tonight - and itís important our new teammates are all made to feel welcome. They will all be crucial to the side for the season to come."

* You may watch last night's 3-1 win against Aston Villa here.

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