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2013-04-11T08:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T00:57:11

Sebby heeding Haycock's advice

Sebastian Lletget is thriving under the tutelage of Development Squad coach Nick Haycock, even if it means getting a flea in his ear from time to time.

The American Under-23 international returned to the fold in Monday's Barclays U21 Premier League 1-1 draw with Elite Group leaders Tottenham Hotspur, after more than a month on the sidelines through injury.

Despite the unforgiving tempo of an end-to-end contest, the 20-year-old slotted seamlessly back into his midfield role, as West Ham played out a third successive draw. Lletget was happy enough with a job well done, but both he and Haycock reckon there is plenty more still to come.

He told West Ham TV: "My fitness obviously needs to improve, but I think that will just come with more games. I'm going to try to play every game until the end of the season. My injury is long gone now, I feel 100 per cent and I'm just happy to be back.

"A lot of credit to Spurs, they had a really good side out, as they always do and it's always a pleasure playing against them. You want to play against good players and see how you match-up.

"I thought my performance was good, for my first game in a while, I thought I put in the effort. There was a lot of running involved obviously, but I could have had a goal or two and I'm happy that I made a couple of chances for myself.

"As soon as the 75th minute hit, I think a lot of us were struggling but everybody worked extremely hard and that's why we came out with a point."

U21s boss Haycock subsequently confessed to being somewhat harsher on Lletget than anyone else, if only because he expects so much of the American. The ever pragmatic Lletget insists he sees it as a compliment and is grateful for all the guidance coming his way.

"I really like playing under Nick he gives me a lot of confidence," he added. "If he does give me a bit of information in a high tone, so to speak, I take it well, I take it on board and use it to my advantage.

"Maybe he is slightly harsh on me, but I like that, I like that he cares. It's good to have that in a manager, he looks to you to do well in the team and put the team on your back as well. Especially because I'm more experienced than a lot of the kids that are coming through.

"I view it as every day's a step closer to the first team. Every time you train you want to impress and all Nick wants is the best for me and for all of us."

For the time being, however, Lletget's focus is firmly on the final four games of the U21 season, fixtures that could yet see the Hammers qualify for the competition's semi-finals.

First up, is Monday's trip to Eastleigh to take on the Southampton, with West Ham bidding to make amends for a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Rush Green.

"We've slipped up a bit earlier in the Elite Group but our training and our whole setup has been very professional. We're going to keep going right up until the last game and hopefully we'll get a couple more wins.

"We're definitely well motivated for the Saints game. Nobody likes losing but especially us. Tactically and mentally we need to be ready for that one and I'm pretty sure we will be."

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