Early start suits upbeat Tomkins

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July 02, 2015 12:35:10 UK

Slaven Bilic was confirmed as West Ham’s new manager last month.

West Ham United captain James Tomkins is keen to improve his fitness levels by playing in the Europa League clash against the Andorran outfit FC Lusitanos.

The Hammers can be backed at 6.50 to win the match 5-0 in an encounter that will be played just 39 days after the 2014/15 Premier League campaign finished.

The 26-year-old said: “Ordinarily I would be on holiday at this time of year, getting prepared for the new season, but I’d much rather be back playing.

I’m only 26 but I’m still one of the older lads.

James Tomkins

“I want game time because it’s important for my fitness. To play a competitive game so early is great for me. Obviously I didn’t play much at the end of last season through injury, so to be back out there is great.”

Lewis Page and Reece Oxford are in line to make their senior debuts for Slaven Bilic’s side, something which Tomkins is pleased about as he also came through the club’s academy system.

He added: “I’m only 26 but I’m still one of the older lads. Lads like Reece are just 16 years old so I’m ten years older and I’ve got that experience. It’s a good role for me to take on in this stage of my career. I’m looking forward to communicating with the younger lads on the pitch and helping them through it.”

West Ham, 67.00 to win the Europa League outright, can also be backed at 2.75 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table in 2015/16.

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