Lomas laments poor start

Steve Lomas had no complaints after his unbeaten start as West Ham United reserve-team manager was ended by Blackburn Rovers.

The Hammers fell to a 4-1 Barclays Premier Reserve League defeat in Lancashire on Tuesday - their first loss in six games under new boss Lomas.

West Ham, who left London at 6am ahead of a 2pm kick-off at Rovers' training ground, fell two goals down within ten minutes, pulled one back through an Anthony Edgar penalty, before conceding twice more in the final ten minutes.

Lomas conceded his team had not started the game well enough to gain a positive result.

"When we got back into the game at 2-1, we could maybe have gone on and got something out of it. The game got stretched and we were chasing an equaliser and they got another two goals at the end.

"My overall thought is that Blackburn deserved the result. Whenever you give two really poor goals away and are 2-0 down after ten minutes, it changes your whole mind-set.

"It was an early start - most of the lads were up at 4am or 4.30am for a 6am start - which wasn't ideal, but we went away to Blackpool and got a very good result, so I don't want to make that an excuse.

"The journey might have had something to do with why we picked up two muscle strains, so that might be something we have to look at. They can happen, but when you're sat on a bus for five hours, it's more likely that they will happen. Matty Fry has picked up a groin problem and Cristian Montano looks like he has picked up quite a bad strain to his hamstring, so that's obviously disappointing.

"We just didn't start right and I told the lads that if you don't start a football match in the right manner, you give yourself an uphill task - and that's even before their two goals have gone in. It's back to the drawing board, really.

"Sometimes you learn more about your players in defeat than you do when you win. We had a lot of young boys who play for the youth team, so we've got to reflect and be realistic. We lost three or four from the Blackpool game - Freddie Sears, Olly Lee who has gone on loan, Dylan Tombides who has been playing very well for us and who stayed behind and trained with the first team and Ruud Boffin in goal - and sometimes you need two or three experienced heads in with the younger lads.

"It's a learning curve for the lads and the thing about it is that they weren't happy with the way that they played. You could see they were disappointed. It wasn't through lack of effort - it was about making the right decisions on and off the ball and ultimately we weren't good enough in both departments and that was our downfall."

While the final result was disappointing, Lomas was pleased with the impact made by substitute Eliott Lee. The schoolboy caught the eye during a 30-minute cameo, showing no fear on his reserve-team debut.

"I've seen Elliot a few times and obviously I want to give these lads a chance. It would be nice if there were more senior boys in there, but it was good for him to get on and he really showed that he's got good ability and he was unlucky not to score.

"It augurs well for him in the future. It was nice for him to get some touches, so that was one of the positives to take out from the game."

Lee will hope to be involved again when West Ham's second-string welcome reigning reserve league champions Manchester United to Bishop's Stortford for their next league fixture on Friday afternoon.

The Hammers have four matches remaining and still have an outside chance of overhauling leaders Arsenal to win the Southern Group title.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's an opportunity for the lads to dust themselves down. You have to do that in football - accept the defeats and take them on the chin. The marker will be will how the lads who play on Friday bounce back.

"I will tell them to put in a performance individually and collectively and if they do, then they've got a chance of getting a result.

"They are going to have good players. They have a big budget and scout players from all over the world. Any of the lads who play for me, it'll be a good benchmark for them to see where they want to be."