West Ham striker Petric buoyed by fitness boost

The Croatian forward is working his way back to full match sharpness after missing pre-season training and hopes to be able to contribute to the Hammers' first team
Mladen Petric is eyeing a first-team spot at West Ham after coming through his first 90 minutes for the reserves on Thursday.

The Croat scored against Charlton as he made his first full appearance since signing for the Hammers on a one-year deal in September following his release from Fulham.

50/1 West Ham are 50/1 with bet365 to beat Manchester City 3-0
Sam Allardyce has been desperately short of strikers amid Andy Carroll's ongoing fitness concerns, but Petric feels he is not far off peak condition, giving his side a much-needed boost in the striking department.

He told West Ham TV: "It was a good day; I played 90 minutes after a long time which was very good for me and of course I'm glad to score a goal but it's only a friendly, so it doesn't count for too much.

"It was good, not just for my fitness, but some other players as well and it was very important to get 90 minutes.

"I feel better and better each day and I don't think it's long before I will feel 100 per cent fit.

"My fitness is much better than when I started three weeks ago. I saw how big the difference was between me and the other players and now I feel like every day that difference is getting smaller and smaller."