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Top-ten target still alive for West Ham - Downing

Stewart Downing believes West Ham United's mini-break in Dubai will have them in a strong position to launch an attack on a potential European spot this season.

The Hammers have spent some time training in the UAE's warm weather this week and winger Downing is confident that the east London outfit can improve on their current standing of 10th.

"I think it's good for us to get away at this time of year. A lot of countries have a winter break, so a couple of days rest means we can rest, recover and get ready for the next game," said Downing.

"I think we needed a break. We had a lot of games with the FA Cup games and obviously the Premier League, so it's nice to get a couple of days rest and recover for the next one. I hope it will help us to end strongly and do better than we did last year and finish in the top ten if we can.

"The team bonding part of it is good for the lads and it's nice for the new boys to get involved with the lads too."

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Andrew Slevison
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