Make or break for Holland

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 11th July 2018

Nathan Holland says this season could be make or break for him at West Ham United.

The 20-year-old moved to West Ham from Everton 18 months ago with view to challenging for a first team spot, but saw his plans scuppered after undergoing surgery for a torn hamstring last November.

Now, having regained to full fitness, and having played a part in West Ham's opening fixture of pre-season, the Wythenshawe-born youngster has set his sights firmly on breaking into the first team.

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"Last season, with the injury, I struggled a little bit and it stopped me from getting to where I wanted to be," he told whufc.com. "But I'm fit now and I've started the season training with the senior team, so to get 45 minutes under my belt against Winterthur was excellent.

"The aim is to be in and around the first team this year. I want to play for West Ham and I want to play at the London Stadium. I've just got to keep working hard, day in and day out, and see what happens. Hopefully I will get my chance.

"The new boss has given a few of us Academy lads a chance straight from the off in pre-season. It's now down to us to impress, whether it's a little quick session or it's a full game. We've got to give 100 per cent and show him what we can do."

Holland also believes that the introdution of Manuel Pellegrini will provide a major boost for the Hammers this season. "He's a brilliant manager," added Holland. "He definitely knows his stuff, and I'm enjoying learning from him.

"He's very big on attacking football but he also knows that we need to be strong when it comes to defending, so he's been enabling us to do that and given us a platform to get even better. He's brought in a new style and I think we've adapted to it quite quickly."

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Holland has made just one appearance thus far for West Ham first team, replacing Sead Haksabanovic an hour into a 3-0 defeat of Bolton Wanderers in a Carabao Cup win last September.

Upon recovering from his hamstring operation Holland spent time on a strength and conditioning course in Manchester in order to ensure he returned in peak fitness.

And talking last month, Academy Director Terry Westley said that it was time for Holland and some of his contemporaries to finally make the breakthrough. "We want them to build on the experiences they have had previously and now make that crucial step," he said.

"Can the likes of [Reece] Oxford, [Marcus] Browne, Holland and [Martin] Samuelsen step up and show the manager they are ready to play? They are of an age where they need to start making a decisive mark.

"We think we have got good players and it's time for them to show they should be in the first team."

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