Potts assesses U18s defeat

Steve Potts has given his assessment of West Ham United's 3-0 Barclays U18 Premier League Tier One Stage defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

A balanced opening 15 minutes saw Potts' team battling to gain control of the game. However, Spurs eventually took control at Spurs Training Centre, chalking up a victory courtesy of goals from Nathan Oduwa, Ruben Lameiras and Darren McQueen.

With four schoolboys named in his starting XI, however, Potts was not feeling too downhearted about Saturday's reverse to a more experienced Tottenham side.

"For the first ten or 15 minutes I thought we did well," said Potts. "Then, after that, I thought Tottenham were by far the better team to be honest.

"I thought our schoolboy centre-halves Reece Burke and Emmanuel Onariase did well. I think they played well on what turned out to be a tough day for the lads. I think they held their own out there. I definitely think that some of our younger lads, considering they were giving a few years away, played very well."

Potts appreciated the pure strength of Tottenham's attacking players up against his experimental defensive partnership, mentioning that he would have preferred his team to have been more experienced, in an ideal scenario.

"I would have preferred the team to be stronger all-round," he continued. "At the start of the game I think we were the better team, but after that Tottenham were the much better team all-round."

West Ham welcomed back towering goalkeeper Sam Baxter after he snapped a finger during warm-up for the Barclays U21 Premier League fixture at Norwich City before Christmas. Potts was pleased with this performance.

"Sam did really well considering he has just come back from injury. He did brilliantly in goal and made some great saves."

While Baxter was in fine form, Potts was not quite so happy with the way his team defended as a whole. The manager said he planned to sit down with his young players this week to work out what went wrong.

"I think that Spurs' third goal summed up the performance really, how easily we let them score. We had a set piece, the ball got cleared and we should have dealt with it, but we didn't and gave a foul away. Everyone just stood off and let them pass the ball through our defence and put the ball in the net, so that was disappointing.

"We will all sit around and watch the clips from the match and hopefully the boys will see certain things that they did wrong. We will point it out, change it and go from there."

Next up for the Under-18s is the visit of Stoke City to Little Heath on Saturday 9 March, with kick-off at 11am.

West Ham United U18s: Baxter, Alexander, Burke, Onariase, Page (Makasi), Marlow, Miles (Girdlestone), Amoo, Mavila, Sadlier, Martins (Boakye-Yiadom)
Subs not used: Howes, Homans