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West Ham midfielder Snodgrass: Service station diet wrecked fitness

West Ham midfielder Robert Snodgrass says his spell at Aston Villa last season left him out of shape.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini warned the Scot, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, he had to lose weight if he wanted a spot in his Hammers side.

"I said to the manager, 'You try travelling from London to Birmingham and eating at services and having a balanced diet!' I was travelling nearly 280 miles daily," said Snodgrass in the build-up to Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace.

"I was up and down all over the country. Because I was on loan last year, it was difficult to get any balance or routine. It was probably the hardest year of my life but it's the sacrifice you make to play football.

"I was trying to be a family man and a footballer, so it's difficult. I said, "I'll give you my all, just give me a fair chance and I'll take it with both hands — if I don't then I've only myself to blame".

"This is why I wanted to be at West Ham. I never wanted to come and just take part. I wanted to be a team player, chipping in and earning my wage. There's no other way for me.

"It doesn't matter if a footballer is earning £100,000 a week or £1,000 a week — the first thing you need to do is work hard for your team.

"That's the difference sometimes with the top managers. They motivate the players to work hard.

"The football was really good at Villa. It was all worthwhile. I had a terrific time at Villa."

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Paul Vegas

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