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2014-01-07T07:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:05:13

'I took it as a great experience'

Sebastian Lletget is determined to build on the experience of his West Ham United debut.

The American was one of five young Hammers to make their bow in Sunday's FA Cup with Budweiser third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest.

While the result did not fall in West Ham's favour at the City Ground, Lletget said he will never forget his first senior game for the Club he joined at the age of 16.

"It is a shame that we lost 5-0, but I took it as a great experience, we all have," said the 21-year-old, who was clutching his full kit as a keepsake of an unforgettable day. "We had a lot of youngsters, but I still give credit to everyone and I thank the gaffer for this opportunity."

Having fallen behind to an early penalty, West Ham got a foothold in the match and gave their full-strength hosts a scare in the opening 65 minutes.

At 1-0, Lletget and his inexperienced team-mates enjoyed a fine ten-minute spell after half-time that included a shot from the midfielder that forced Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow into a flying save. Had the American's effort gone in, the final result could have been very different.

"On the pitch we really felt that we were on top at times. They were a bit fitter than us, but on the ball I thought that we were excellent at times.

"I think, [in the final 25 minutes] they just got the momentum going. They did well in the final third and I think we got tired, but these things happen. It didn't help not having had a Development Squad league game for a month, but looking back, you can look at the score, but we all took it very well and the gaffer took it very well too, so we will just learn from that."

"I think the chemistry of the team was good. I think the fans deserve a lot of credit, they came today and there was great support, but I think we can take positives from the whole experience."

For the Californian, his debut experience was made even more memorable by the fact he made it alongside long-time Development Squad team-mates Dan Potts, Callum Driver, Dan Whitehead and George Moncur.

Now, the No35 hopes the quintet - along with substitutes Blair Turgott, Matthias Fanimo and Reece Burke - can take what they have learnt into the Barclays U21 Premier League, where West Ham sit second in the table going into the New Year.

"It really was very special," he said. "I can look back on this day for a long time and remember what I did, it was a great experience.

"I did wait a long time to make my debut and I do want to thank everybody from the Academy and medical staff and everybody who helped all of us get here. It was a great day for us.

"This will be a big boost for the under-21s in the league, I think we will just carry on. There is another five months until the end of the season, so there is a long way to go."

In closing, Lletget thanked the 3,000-strong Claret and Blue Army for their support at the City Ground, where they continued to sing despite the scoreline.

"I did apologise to them for the score, but I thanked them for coming out to support us."

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