The Development Squad opened their Barclays U21 Premier League points account for the season with a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, but coach Nick Haycock felt his side could, and should, have gone back down the M6 with all three.

Kieran Sadlier's 26th minute goal gave the Hammers a lead which lasted until the very last minute of the contest, when City's Olivier Ntcham rifled a shot in from the edge of the box to ensure the spoils were shared.

West Ham created several chances to add to their advantage before City came on strongly in the game's final quarter to level, and Haycock knows his team need to keep improving in the final third.

"You don't want to harp on about games in the past but I think we've been unlucky not to have taken seven points from the first three games," he explained.

"They work hard every day in training, there are certain things you ask of them and the more they play together the better they look. I thought the first half was a solid performance, we got the goal and it wouldn't have flattered us if we had come in two or three to the good.

"We knew we had to take our chances because otherwise something will fall for them in the game. We were hoping that we could see it out at 1-0, but they got the goal and all credit to them because in the last 15 minutes they looked the likely winners in a game that we were the better team for 75 minutes.

"I said to them afterwards that you can be comfortable in a game thinking they're going to find it hard to muster a chance, but they have good players, as all the sides in this top league do, and you have to expect them to have a rally, especially being coached by someone like Patrick Vieira.

"He actually said to me at the end of the game, very honestly, that he didn't know how his team got something out of the game, but we didn't get it over the line and the lads are very disappointed with that."

The Hammers have found the net once in all three of their league games to date - enough to draw with City, but not against Tottenham Hotspur or Southampton - but Haycock believes more fruitful times lay just around the corner.

He continued: "We're doing all the work in training, we've now settled into the working week after pre-season, where we do small-area game days, then the shape work towards the end of the week.

"The boys are getting plenty of finishing, plenty of combination plays and it will turn if we keep playing with this attitude and the way we're pressing the ball with intensity. The players will get fitter and the more they play together the more they'll mould into a team."

The Hammers faced a moment of concern early in the second period when right back Sam Westley was stretchered from the field with a knee injury, but Haycock said the early prognosis was encouraging.

He said: "I think Sam is okay, and I think he had a good first half as well. He was really hungry to go out in the second half, and I think he got a knock on his knee.

"At the moment I don't think it's too serious but we'll leave him in the good, capable hands of the physios at the football club and we'll see where he is tomorrow and the day after."

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