Knoyle enjoys Euro experience

Development Squad defender Kyle Knolye has been in good form for the Dev Squad this season and the youngster put in another good performance despite losing 5-3 to Bilbao Athletic.

The Dev Squad made life difficult for themselves as they conceded in the second minute following some sloppy defending. The Hammers equalised through Matthias Fanimo's deflcted shot, however the visitors stormed to a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Nick Haycock's men rallied in the second half as Elliot Lee's 77 minute goal brought them back into the game. The exciting match had a thrilling finale as three goals were scored in as many minutes, including a wonderful strike by Kieran Bywater to leave the score 5-3.

Speaking after the game, Knoyle said: "It was a good experience playing against European opposition, but I don't think we started the game well enough. That then set the tone for the rest of the game, we suffered from individual errors too. We got back into the game but it wasn't enough."

The Hammers faced Athletic Bilbao in their first game of the Barclays Premier League International Cup and Knoyle compared the difference between the Spanish giants and the Hammers' regular Premier League opponents.

"They were good, a typical Spanish side they were good in possession, more technical than other teams we've played against. Other sides are more physical, Sunderland last week were much more physical.

The England U18 international has enjoyed a run of three consecutive games in the U21s, putting in impressive displays in each.

"I think I did my job quite well, defensively I was pretty solid but I know I can improve. I let a cross come in which I'm disappointed with. Attacking wise, I could have done better, my final ball needs to be better but I'll work on that in training.

"Last season as first year scholar I made nine U21 appearances so as a second year it's been a bit easier. Over the summer I worked on my physicality, I'm feeling stronger and quicker. As a result the games are easier for me."

The Dev Squad's next match is a tough encounter with Manchester United on Friday 24 November at Rush Green: "Manchester United are great opposition, they have a lot of great players. Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj have played for the U21s this season. Whoever plays for them next week, we know they'll be good players and it'll be a tough game."

The Dev Squad's next European fixture is against PSV Eindhoven at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday 19 November, followed by Fulham on Monday 8 December at Rush Green.