Potts: 'We deserved the win'

U21s coach Steve Potts said his side deserved the victory 2-1 over Manchester City on Friday 24 April after recent good performances had gone unrewarded. 

Potts’ son Dan opened the scoring in the eleventh minute heading in Djair Parfitt-Williams’ cross after an exquisite bit of skill from the young forward. The Hammers doubled their lead early in the second half when Adam Drury stabbed Jordan Brown’s drilled cross into his own net.   

City rallied and looked increasingly dangerous before Olivier Ntcham scored late on to half the Irons’ advantage but it proved too little too late. 

Speaking after the game, Potts said: “I’m delighted. I thought the lads did very well. The effort they put in was fantastic, they got what we deserved really after a couple of games where I thought we did some good stuff but lost by the odd goal. 

“Last week against Norwich City we were 1-0 up with a few minutes to go but then we threw it away. But tonight we did the job. 

"I’ve been happy with the last two games and tonight, in most aspects, we saw the game through. I think that’s the stage that the players are at, at the moment. They’re young boys but they need to manage games and get over the line as much as they can. We need to build on this toughness about them.”

In a fantastic performance, the Development Squad had chances either side of half time to extent their lead. 

Dan Potts hit the top of the cross bar from a corner while Jordan Brown and Joe Ward forced good saves out of Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn. 

“We could have had a few more, we had some good chances,” continued Potts. 

“They had a lot of possession and I think you have to respect when you’re playing good teams. We had some opportunities to finish the game off, but didn’t. At 2-1 you do wonder whether it’ll be your night and thankfully it was. The boys stuck to their jobs and they were in the right place at the right time.”

Recently, the young Hammers have found points hard to come by, making Friday’s win over prospective title challengers City even more impressive. 

The Dev Squad’s last win came over Fulham in February when they won 2-1 and Potts continued to stress how pleased he was how his side rose to the occasion. 

“We knew they were a good side. When they were playing the ball about it was a case of not getting drawn out of position. They had good movement and they passes the ball around well, in a second they can cut you apart. Luckily it was just the once they did that. 

“Djair did very well for the first goal. He got one-on-one with his man and beat him, put a good ball in the box and Dan was there to finish it. He’s been unlucky this season, he broke a bone in his foot and then had an operation on his knee which kept him out for a while. 

“That’s how football is sometimes, you have to get on with it and bounce back when injuries happen. He’s been training for a few weeks now and played two games.”

Up next for the Dev Squad, they host Everton at Rush Green on Friday 8 May, where they will be looking to avenge a 2-0 defeat by the Toffees earlier in the season.  

“The win is great for our confidence because we haven’t won in a while. Everton will be a tough game. We’ll need to rise to it, but we know that we’re capable of winning and we’re looking forward to it.”