Dan Potts was delighted to be part of an exemplary defensive display against West Bromwich Albion, as the 18-year-old enjoyed a first Development Squad run-out since suffering a concussion at the Emirates Stadium.
Little more than two weeks ago, Potts fell to earth after an ugly collision with Bacary Sagna and despite being subsequently admitted to hospital, he is already back raiding up and down the left-wing.
Potts marked his return with a typically impressive showing, providing the ammunition for Wellington Paulista's second-half goal, as well as going close himself with a speculative drive. All in all, it was a more than satisfying evening for the teenager, who experienced no ill-effects following the 2-0 win at Rush Green.
"Over the last couple of weeks, it's not been frustrating, but obviously there's not been much I could do in terms of on the pitch," he told West Ham TV. "I just had to rest up and when I felt back to myself I was allowed out on the training pitch. The last couple of days I've been training, I felt fine. I got a good 90 minutes under my belt and I felt fine. So it's all good and well.
"I've been out two, almost three weeks now. I haven't done much as I said. These are the sort of games where you get a good run-out. It's a good test against good opposition, that's what the league is for. It does your fitness no harm at all. Like I said, I didn't feel out of place fitness wise. I felt strong, so I was pleased with that aspect, definitely.
"In the Under-21 games, the whole team, not just the back four, have based ourselves on good defensive displays and clean sheets. You see a clean sheet and the credit automatically goes to the 'keeper and the back four, but the lads in front of us worked their socks off and it shows in a good team performance.
Potts, meanwhile, was effusive in his praise of Paulista, who thundered his left-wing cross home to double West Ham's lead. And while Potts paid tribute to the significance of the Development Squad, he remains intent on fighting his way back into first-team contention.
"I just played a one-two with George Moncur and I only had one thing in my mind and that was to whip it in the box," he added. "I've trained with Wellington and he's a finisher. He showed that against West Brom. He gets in the right areas at the right time and as long as you put it there, he's going to be there. He loves to score goals and that's what good strikers are about. I was pleased with that, definitely.
"That's where I want to be [in the first team]. I've had a few games there this season and that's definitely where my sights are. With a young lad coming in, we've obviously got a good squad as well, there's a lot of competition for places. And you want to keep your match fitness up, so these run-outs and these games are perfect for that matter."