Stewart Downing happy with competition for places at West Ham United

Stewart Downing believes that competition for places at West Ham can only be a "good thing" for the club.

West Ham United winger Stewart Downing has insisted that competition for places at the club is a "good thing".

The Hammers were busy during this summer's transfer window, with manager Sam Allardyce bringing in nine new players.

Downing believes that a fuller squad at Upton Park can only be a positive for West Ham as they look to improve on last season's 13th-place finish in the Premier League table

"Competition for places is definitely a good thing. Last year even if you weren't playing well you got into the team because we didn't have enough players, but now the manager will be having headaches picking the team. I'm sure he'll like that," he told the club's official website.

"We've got more options on the bench. We've got Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll to come back still. The manager has said before, the team picks itself. If you're doing well you'll stay in the team and if not then you'll be out."

West Ham return to action on Saturday when they travel to Manchester United in the Premier League.

Manchester City's English midfielder Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd after scoring his goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on September 21, 2014
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