'It was a day I'll never forget'

Diego Poyet felt a mixture of pride and disappointment after his full Barclays Premier League debut for West Ham United ended in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.

The 19-year-old was drafted into the starting XI on Friday after fellow midfielder Mark Noble suffered a calf injury in training.

Facing the likes of Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao was always likely to be a baptism of fire for the teenager, but he recovered from the shock of falling two goals down within 22 minutes to produce an increasingly assured display in front of the back four.

Diafra Sakho pulled a goal back on 37 minutes before Rooney was sent-off and Poyet was replaced by Kevin Nolan with 15 minutes to go. Nolan then saw a late goal controversially disallowed for offside, which only served to heighten the Hammers' frustrations

Speaking to West Ham TV, the former Charlton Athletic youngster looked back with mixed emotions on his maiden top-flight start.

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"It all happened very quickly, as Nobes picked up an injury on Friday in training and the Gaffer put me straight in, so it was a hard first start for me but a day I'll never forget, despite the disappointment of the result," said the No23.

"They had two chances and scored them both and we found ourselves 2-0 down. We knew we would have a chance or two and we took one to go in 2-1 at half-time. We knew we'd get a few more chances in the second half and we did, especially after the sending-off.

"We were a bit disappointed not to get a point at the end, with Nobby's goal which was ruled offside, but we've only got ourselves to blame after going 2-0 down after 25 minutes. It's very difficult to come back from 2-0 down, especially at Old Trafford."

Poyet himself clearly grew into the game as he got to grips with the sheer pace and intensity of Barclays Premier League football.

Now he has had a taste, it is no surprise that the young midfielder wants more opportunities to prove himself at the highest level.

"It was my first taste of it from the start - I got on at Crystal Palace but that wasn't the same - and to play against top-class players like they have got at Man United was hard, especially at the start.

"I was trying to do my job and, after having a chat at half-time, I felt more comfortable in the second half and I think we played well as a team in the second half as well.

"This is a day I will never forget, for the right reasons. I know we have got a big squad, but I'm going to keep my head down, keep training hard and take it one game at a time. Hopefully we can pick up some good results, too."

Rather than shuffle his midfielders around to bring in a more experienced attacking option, manager Sam Allardyce showed great faith in Poyet by giving him the anchor role - faith he hopes to repay repeatedly over the coming weeks and months.

With a father Gus who has guided his career after himself playing for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Uruguay, it should come as no surprise that the youngster has the maturity, ability and temperament to deal with the challenges in front of him.

"I've been patient and I'm very happy to be here. I have to say thanks to the Gaffer for giving me a chance of making my first start in the Premier League and I hope I repaid him because I did as well as I can."

Having made his full league debut, Poyet now hopes to feature again in Sunday's home fixture with Queens Park Rangers.

"It's obviously a bit disappointing that we didn't get anything at Man United, but we have a big chance at home next weekend to get at least a point on the board and hopefully three.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'll be back at training on Monday and working as hard as I can."