Last Updated: Mon, 01 Jul 2013 12:44
Kevin Nolan believes West Ham's early return to pre-season training could give the side an edge over their Premier League rivals.
The Hammers' first-team squad were back in training on Monday after the summer break and they will now head to Ireland for a week-long training camp.
Nolan is well used to boss Sam Allardyce's pre-season plans and believes the early summer start will benefit the club as they aim for more progress in the top flight in the new season.
A West Ham XI will take on Cork in the Republic in their first friendly on Sunday as preparations get underway for the first game of the new campaign at home to Cardiff in mid-August.
He told West Ham TV: "I think the first couple of weeks of pre-season are about consolidating, getting a fitness base and making sure you don't pick up too many injuries early on.
"Looking at all the boys, we've done the bits and bobs we were set out to do by the fitness team over the summer, and we've got our first game on Sunday which we're looking forward to.
"We've got to make sure that step-by-step we get fitter and fitter, and are ready and raring to go when we face Cardiff at the Boleyn Ground for the first game of the season."
He added: "I think we're one of the first Premier League teams back with the season seven weeks away. Sam's always done it this way, I've always found that he does it the right way and the plan is that we get off to another fantastic start this season."
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