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West Ham man sends ‘really easy’ message ahead of London derbies

T

hilo Kehrer says he has found settling in at West Ham “really easy” and vowed to bring his “qualities and personality” to the team ahead of this week’s pair of crunch London derbies.

Kehrer arrived from PSG in a £10.1million deal earlier this summer, having entered the final 12 months of his contract in the French capital.

David Moyes has been keen to ease his raft of new signings in gradually where possible but has not had that luxury where the German international is concerned amid an injury crisis at centre-back.

Kehrer has started all three matches since his arrival, including yesterday’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa, and looks set to keep his place ahead of meetings with Tottenham and Chelsea.

“It’s been really easy [integrating into the team],” he said. “This is a good group and it’s a very positive atmosphere. There’s a lot of quality in the team and I’ve been welcomed very well by everyone.

“I can play different positions. The manager and the team know that. I’m ready to bring my qualities and my personality to the team. I’m aware of history and the importance of the London derbies. It’s very big and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Victory at Villa Park gave the Hammers a vital first there points of the season, having started the Premier League campaign with a hat-trick of defeats.

Moyes’ side were poor in the first-half before a shift from a back-three to back-four prompted improvement after the break and Pablo Fornals’ deflected strike proved the difference.

“The second-half we had better positions to play with the ball,” Kehrer added. “We also had better positions to defend. We were more compact and made less channels for Aston Villa to play through.

“We had it a little bit easier and in the next few games we’ll see again if it was the system, or other things. We’re happy to get the three points and it wasn’t an easy game. Aston Villa are a strong side and we knew we had to fight, be together and be ready for the battle.”

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