Haycock honest in defeat

Nick Haycock was in honest mood after watching the Development Squad go down 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion at Rush Green on Friday night.

The Baggies were on top throughout the contest and were helped on their way when Cameron Gayle's shot after 21 minutes was deflected past the helpless Raphael Spiegel.

After half-time the visitors doubled the lead when Paul McCallum put through his own net in an attempt to clear a goal-bound shot.

The finishing touches were added when Aaron Birch tucked away a cross and defeat left Haycock with no complaints.

He told West Ham TV: "West Brom thoroughly deserved the win. I'm an honest football person. I have a lot of respect for James who takes their team, they played to a system, played off a good shape, they'd obviously watched us play and made it hard for us to break the lines.

"They played on the counter-attack and thoroughly deserved their win. Even though they didn't have too many chances, we never worked the keeper at all so it was a disappointing performance.

"Not expected, but we've said all along that we've played one game at the start of December and we've not kicked a football for the whole of December and that's out first game back after Christmas."

For many of the Development Squad this was their first match since their Under-21 Premier League Cup win over Bristol City at the start of December.

Haycock felt the lack of fixtures over the Christmas period had an impact but is now keen for his players to kick-on whether that be at West Ham or out on loan.

"I've just said to the boys in there, 'Make sure we get back on track quick' and that's only going to come from their hard work in training and when the game programme becomes more consistent for the players.

"The one thing that you've got to do as a footballer player, and I know quite a few of the league managers here and obviously we've circulated the list of all our players here to go out on loan because Sunday showed that players need to get that experience.

"It would be unfair to criticise the young players on Sunday because that's something they've got to go through to get that league experience."

Eight current members of the Club's Academy finished West Ham's recent FA Cup with Budweiser defeat to Nottingham Forest, a fact which clearly pleased the coach.

Whilst the result wasn't as expected, Haycock feels that the young players involved against Forest will benefit as a result.

"Paterson who plays for Nottingham Forest had played 94 times for Walsall in the league at 19, 20, 21 and then got signed as a 22-year-old. This is the stage now where they have to move from this U21 level and go and play in first teams.

"I didn't see too many other teams putting young players in their teams, so I'm delighted that Sam gave them the opportunity. We finished with eight players who were Academy based and Sam was probably aware it was too many at once but it was a needs-must for the football club because the most important thing is Premier League survival."