Nick Haycock is adamant he has plenty to be cheerful about, despite seeing his side slip to a 3-2 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

A spirited West Ham United side twice fought back from a goal down to level matters at two apiece, only to be undone for a decisive third time, as Spurs hit the summit of the Barclays U21 Premier League Elite Group.

The ever reliable Elliot Lee cancelled out Jonathan Obika's opener, before Harry Kane restored the home side's slender advantage, just seconds before the interval.

Though Wellington Paulista stabbed home from close range, Giancarlo Gallifuoco's header ensured the Hammers would depart empty handed, much to the frustration of a philosophical Haycock.

"On another day I think we could have come away with three points," he told West Ham TV. "We're very disappointed not to come away with a point, but like I said to the boys, it's onwards and upwards again from here. The second half showed that we can compete at this level.

"I thought we had a 15 minute spell before half time where we started to look like the side we know we're capable of being. We came out after half-time and definitely took the game to Tottenham. We asked the boys to get higher up the pitch, deny the spaces in between the lines and be a little bit braver at the back.

"We were definitely the better team in the second half. We equalise and I'm thinking we could go on to win the game, and straight away again, we conceded off a set piece, a bit sloppy!

"Without digging him out, Amos [Nasha] has let the centre-half run off him for the goal and he's a young 17-year-old. But I'm really pleased with his performance and Amos will get better and better, as he plays more games at this level."

Monday's defeat might rankle with Haycock, but the U21s boss insisted there's every reason to be positive with a talented and determined group at his disposal.

"They're a good set of lads, every day in training," he added. They're an honest group, they've worked hard. Ian [Hendon] has done a great job with them in the first part of the season and there's a good camaraderie about the team.

"I'm always a positive person. During the game I can see mistakes being made, but that's what the players are out there to do, to learn. Some are getting tested at a higher level and it's a quick learning curve for them.

"Like we said in the changing room, collectively you've lost a game, but individually some of you can be proud of your performances and it's about catching the manager's eye. The reports Ian and I take back are what they're looking for as young players."

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