Young midfielder Oliver Lee is hoping for another taste of reserve-team football after an assured showing in the 1-0 win against Arsenal.
The 17-year-old midfielder was making his fourth appearance at reserve-team level after being a near ever-present at Under-18 level this season. His composed performance belied his tender years and now Lee - son of former West Ham United and England midfielder Rob - is hoping for more match-time in Alex Dyer's side, starting with Tuesday's home match with Aston Villa.
"I think I did alright against Arsenal so hopefully I can get a few more games under my belt and push on," Lee said. "I've learned that you've got to be a lot sharper and it's a lot different to the youth team. You've got to be more on your game than usual."
Lee started in a central midfield role alongside fellow youth-team player Georg Grasser and helped the Hammers overcome an Arsenal side containing a string of highly-regarded youngsters.
"It was great playing against players like [Mark] Randall and [Jack] Wilshere out there. You need to put yourself against the best and we've shown that we're good enough to be against them.
"We played really well. Obviously they've got a lot of talented players but we worked hard as a team, came through and won 1-0. Everyone was buzzing and dancing around and it was a great atmosphere."
Lee explained that reserve-team manager Dyer had encouraged his young side to play without any constraints. "Alex Dyer just said to go out there and play. All the pressure was on them and not on us so we just went out there and did our thing."
It was a telling fact that the most experienced players in the United starting XI were central defenders Bondz N'Gala and Holmar Eyjolfsson, who are both still in their teens. But Lee was pleased to have the more experienced heads playing behind him to help talk him through the match..
"Bondz was great. He's experienced at this level and he helps you out a lot. Holmar, Bondz and Ashley [Miller] give you a lot of confidence so it's good to play with players like that."
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