Dyer proud of youngsters

It is not often that a manager admits to being 'ecstatic' after his team has lost, but Alex Dyer was justifiably delighted following Monday's reserve-team friendly fixture at Norwich City.

Dyer's West Ham United, featuring ten teenagers in the starting XI, pushed an experienced Canaries side all the way before falling to an entertaining 2-1 defeat.

The Hammers youngsters were a joy to watch, playing an intricate passing game that left their older opponents chasing shadows at times.

Norwich took the lead within a minute through Cody McDonald before Paul McVeigh doubled the hosts' advantage with a 65th-minute penalty.

Dyer's charges refused to give up, though, reducing the deficit through substitute Jack Werndly's deft header and creating a host of chances to snatch a deserved draw.

"I am ecstatic, that's the best way I can describe it," said Dyer. "After going a goal down in under a minute, which was a lack of experience, we settled down and we reacted well for the rest of the game.

"I thought we were good in the first half. We got straight back in the game and passed the ball well. The lads created chances and I was disappointed not to go in at half-time level.

"I asked for the same again at half-time. We went over a few things and we started bright again.

"They got their penalty, which I thought was very soft, but apart from that the lads created chances, young Jack came on and scored his goal and overall I am very pleased with the performance.

"I am disappointed sometimes with the end product by delivering better crosses and getting some shots off, but our general play, passing and moving, is very good."

The reserves have been impressive in recent weeks, securing a fine friendly draw with Polish top-flight side Arka Gdynia before sharing the spoils in their most recent Barclays Premier Reserve League South fixture at Fulham.

The likes of first-year professionals Anthony Edgar and Danny Kearns, as well as Iceland Under-21 defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, all put in fine displays at Norwich and are likely to feature again when the Hammers host Stoke City next week.

"We've got a few players in that side who can move the ball and pass it well. We know they are a young bunch coming to a place like Norwich and it was great opportunity for them in front of a decent crowd on a lovely pitch.

"It was nice for them to taste that experience. Some of the lads stepped up from the youth team and came on and showed what they could do. As a coach, I'm well pleased."