The international break arrived at the right time for struggling West Ham United and their focused training in the past fortnight can kickstart their Premier League campaign, winger Michail Antonio said on Wednesday.
West Ham have lost their first four league games, including a 1-0 home defeat by promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers before the break.
The lack of result heaps pressure on new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, and his expensively assembled squad.
He said: “International breaks can sometimes be a blessing and sometimes be a curse.
“Right now, I’d say it’s a blessing because it’s given ourselves a chance to clear our minds after the first part of the season,” Antonio told the club’s website.
“It’s given us an opportunity to do some good work and get ready to make a fresh start… we’ve been working on shape and tactical stuff and tying things down.”
West Ham brought in a number of new players in the closed season but are yet to extract the best out of them, scoring just two goals in the league so far.
Antonio added: “We’ve signed nine new players and it takes time to gel as you can see in the games, where we think people should be and getting things a bit muddled up.
“We need to learn more about each other and I do see it coming good.”
West Ham return to Premier League action with Sunday’s trip to Everton.