Quashie on the comeback trail

Nigel Quashie's comeback from injury and the good progress of several young players were the main positives for reserve-team coach Kevin Keen to ponder on Wednesday.

A 1-1 draw at Fulham last night followed the 1-0 home defeat of Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago. The Hammers hero was Kyel Reid who struck a deserved equaliser after the Cottagers had taken the lead in the first half through Bradley Hudson- Odoi.

It was a battling performance which was notable for Quashie's first appearance since being ruled out in March with an ankle injury. Aside from the Scotland midfielder's return, the youngsters to shine were star man Reid, captain Jack Collison and the attack-minded Jack Jeffrey.

"Nigel got through the match OK, which was good and he seemed to be fine afterwards, so that will be a boost for him," said Keen, who also had Jonathan Spector and John Pantsil to call upon. "Once again I had a great attitude from the senior boys and this helps the younger players, who are growing with confidence in each match."

The reserve boss was understandably pleased with the way his side dug in to get the result at a very cold Motspur Park. "Fulham had more of the chances in the first half, but we battled to keep in there and while we were a bit disappointed to go in at the break one goal behind, I felt we had a lot more to give.

"My half-time talk was about encouraging us to do more of the same in the second half and a little bit more which I knew we had in us. So it proved because we deserved to get back level and take something from the game."

That the visitors managed a point was in part down to Reid's fine display with the winger continuing his excellent form. "Kyel was outstanding, he gave a really top performance," Keen added. "He's going well, in both training and playing consistently and is on the fringes of the first-team squad. Playing like this will give him a real stake to catching the manager's eye."

Keen also had words of praise for Jeffrey and Zavon Hines. "Both JJ and Zavon more than held their own against some experienced players in the midfield and I was delighted with them, said Keen. "The last two games have been pleasing and the team have gained a lot of confidence from it all."

The reserves are next in action on Tuesday 6 November, when Arsenal are the visitors to the Boleyn Ground.