Football: No holiday for West Ham in Miami, says Marko Arnautovic

West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match against Newcastle United at The London Stadium on December 23, 2017.
West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match against Newcastle United at The London Stadium on December 23, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - West Ham United are being put through a tough training regime at their camp in Miami and forward Marko Arnautovic hopes the hard work will help keep the club in the Premier League.

West Ham, dangerously close to the drop zone in 16th, have spent the week training in Florida to prepare for a crucial stretch of matches. With eight games remaining, they still have to play Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United.

"The training has been tough, and this is not a holiday for us. We came out here to take some sun, of course, but I think this was like pre-season as the training was really hard," Arnautovic told the club's website (www.whufc.com).

"We are happy for this because we need to work hard and come back and finish the end of the season strongly. Until now, so far, it was not how we wanted it."

West Ham's encouraging run between December and January helped them climb to 11th but they have slipped back down the table with three consecutive defeats.

"We have to work hard, we have to stay together, like we are doing this week, until the end of the season because it's going to be really hard for us," added Arnautovic.

"Everybody who wears this badge has to stay together and fight until the end of the season. I think we're going to do our best to come out of this."

West Ham were beaten 3-0 by Burnley in their last match at the London Stadium, a game that saw several pitch invasions and ugly scenes in the stands, including fans taunting the club owners.

Improved security measures will be in place when West Ham return to league action at home to Southampton on March 31.