Lletget delight at lead role

Sebastian Lletget felt honoured to captain the Development Squad as they struck late to beat Sunderland in their final Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture on Thursday afternoon.

The American midfielder led by example after taking the arm band from regular captain Dan Potts and helped the Hammers recover from a goal down to steal the spoils in the last minute.

Lletget's midfield compatriot Josh Cullen equalised after the Black Cats had surged ahead through a Mikael Mondron penalty, and just as the match looked set to finish as a draw an own-goal by Tom McNamee handed the Hammers victory.

Lletget was delighted with the victory as well as receiving the opportunity to lead the team in their season finale.

He told West Ham TV: "It was a great way to end the season and the boys were really up for this one. We had a good week of training in the build-up and I think that helped us in this one.

"It's an honour to be the captain of a team, especially as I'm so close to my teammates. It was good to lead them and I'm glad that I have a 100 per cent record at this moment in time, so I'm happy.

"I think overall it worked well. Going into the game it's exactly what we wanted to come out with, so I'm happy we managed to come away with the win."

The young Hammers knew the importance of a positive result from their final game of the season as they strived to finish in the top eleven of the league, but proceedings at the Academy of Light didn't go wholly to plan.

A questionable penalty was awarded against Dan Potts after he was adjudged to have fouled Mondron, with the striker picking himself up to score.

Lletget admitted the side were bemused by the decision but was left delighted with the way they responded.

"In the first half we weren't on top of our game as much as were in the second half. Our intensity was much, much higher in the second half and I think that was the major difference in helping us to get the last minute goal.

"We were a bit down about that (the penalty), but you can't hold a grudge against the referee for the whole game especially when it happens early In a game, you just have to switch back on and that's what we did.

"Everyone put the work in today. If there was one person that didn't then I don't think we would have been able to keep going to the end and get our last minute winner."

With a place in the top tier of U21 football for next season secure, Lletget feels the season has been a positive one as the Club continue to progress.

"I'm very happy, especially for the younger lads because they deserve to play in the top leagues next season. They're more than good enough and they've shown that throughout the second half of the season. It's good for them going into next season.

"The team has changed quite a bit which never helps, but it's good that we have a lot of variety in players. It's good experience for the younger ones, I'm one of the older ones now but I think the chemistry and philosophy within the Club will continue to get better.

"I think Nick has been preparing for next year already and having this win will set the tone going into pre-season."