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Azpilicueta: Making it happen

Cesar Azpilicueta says the squad showcased their mental strength during the weekend win over Werder Bremen but must continue to work hard in the build-up to our Premier League opener on Monday.

The Spaniard and his teammates flew out to Germany not long after they had returned from our US tour on the other side of the Atlantic. That fact made the victory all the more satisfying for Azpilicueta, though he also admitted the defensive side of things could have been better.

‘It was our last game of pre-season and we wanted to finish in a good way and to get a win which we did,’ he said.

‘We played a very good first few minutes, we linked very well, we attacked, and we pressed very well. We were playing three days after a lot of travelling so I think the team spirit was very good. We showed a great mentality.

‘To concede the two goals is not nice of course, so there were some things we were not happy about, but we are trying to improve in every training session and then make it happen in the games.’

Looking forward to our league opener in six days’ time, Azpilicueta identified one aspect of our play from the pre-season schedule that could be crucial in the coming campaign.

‘It’s important to be flexible in terms of formation,’ he stressed.

‘Every time the manager tries the best solution so we, the players, have to be ready to adapt to play in every system. The target is always the same, to beat the opponent, and with the different formations we can play we always have the ability to do that.

‘We will try to get as close as possible to perfection as we can, even if it’s hard,’ continued the 26-year-old, who is about to start his fifth season at the club.

‘We are ready for work for that, we have a good few more days of training before the season starts, the games are finished, and now it’s time to focus on West Ham. We are excited.’