Dyer pleased with final showing

Alex Dyer was full of praise for the performance of his young reserve side as they suffered the heartache of conceding a last-minute goal in the 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth.

West Ham United had plenty of chances of their own, with stand-in captain Zavon Hines going close several times, but were made to pay when Theofanis Gekas' deflected shot beat Peter Kurucz with just seconds remaining. Despite the late setback, Dyer was keen to draw on the plusses and commended the manner in which his side, which included just two players out of their teens, approached the game.

"It was a great performance, to be fair. The lads worked hard, especially in the second half. They came out and the tempo was good to their game.

"We said a couple of things to them at half-time and they produced in the second half. We created three-or-four good chances. Zavon Hines has done well this year but it just wasn't his night."

Portsmouth's goal was a cruel way for Dyer's side to finish their season, but the reserve team manager said the manner of the defeat will just add to the players' valuable experience.

"It was just the way the game was that they had one chance, and it wasn't really a chance. They had a shot and it's got a deflection and gone in, but that's the reality of life.

"Hopefully they will learn from it. They were disappointed, the boys, because they wanted to win. It was the last game and they gave their all. They ran and they worked hard and they passed the ball well. It was just not their night at the end."

The reserves season started with several senior players lining up for Dyer's side, but as some have moved on and injuries have taken their toll on the first-team squad, Dyer has called upon the latest batch of Academy graduates to represent the reserves. The youngsters have not disappointed and Dyer has been delighted with their application while under his tutorship.

"The young lads who have come up during the second part of the season have really worked hard and have shown the quality that they have got at times. Sometimes they are a bit naïve because they are young but, overall, I've been pleased with them."

"They have worked very hard and moved the ball and done the things that we've asked them to do in the games and in training."

Dyer was appointed reserve team manager earlier this season after Kevin Keen's promotion to first-team coach. The former Hull City, Crystal Palace and Barnet defender says he has enjoyed the experience of taking charge of West Ham's second string under the stewardship of the first team coaching staff.

"I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work at this level. The senior lads who have come into the reserves at the start of the season worked hard and played well for the club. It is difficult when you come and play reserve football sometimes, but they are good professionals and they worked hard.

"For me, it's been very easy to do this job. The management team have looked after us and I'd like to thank them for helping us - the gaffer, Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen have been great. They've given me all the support I've needed to do the job to the best of my abilities."