Westley: "I'm staggered we lost"

Academy Manager Terry Westley spoke of his disbelief at the Development Squad’s 2-1 defeat away at West Bromwich Albion.

In a match where the Hammers were on top for large swathes of the game, it was the Baggies who came away with the points.

Reflecting on a host of missed chances, Westley said: “I’m just staggered we lost the game. I’m really disappointed to not have won the game, but to lose it in the last minute, I can’t quite believe it.

“Up until the very last kick we had chances to score, so we shouldn’t have even come away with a 1-0 win, it should have been more.”

Having started brightly, early chances fell to Elliot Lee and Manuel Lanzini yet it was the hosts who took the lead as Adil Nadi’s free-kick on the edge of the box beat Tim Brown.

After the break the Hammers regrouped through Lee’s close range header however, against the run of play, substitute Kyle Howkins popped up in the six-yard box to role the ball home in the 89th minute. 
Westley continued: “We need to be more clinical, that’s the learning curve. If you concede two you have to score at least three away from home. We had enough chances to do that but realistically that doesn’t happen, particularly at the level where we want our players to be at.

“Having said that, the performance today was the best I’ve seen in my fourteen months at the Club. I thought we were absolutely terrific.

“We’ve been challenging the players to keep possession better, and to shift it around the pitch, but with purpose and intent. I thought we did that today.”   

While Westley, along with a number of his players were mystified at the result, he remained positive that the Hammers were heading in the right direction.

“You only had to see the reaction from their staff after the game, the way their manager demonstrated how disappointed he was in their performance. That shows how on top we really were.

“If we play like that every week then yes, we’ll come out on top eventually. We will continue to work together, there was so many terrific performances.”

The Academy Manager reserved a special mention for Leo Chambers, who returned to competitive action after more than 18 months out through injury.

“If I look at Leo Chambers, he hasn’t played for nearly two years, that was his first game back and you wouldn’t have known it by watching him today. For him to have come through that is a real plus for the boy.

“Samuelsen was dangerous whenever he had the ball, the attacking three looked dangerous while the first teamers, Diego, Lanzini and Stephen Hendrie looked very good and were always an outlet.

“Finally, Elliot got his goal, that’s what El is all about, he’s a goalscorer and always a threat in and around the box. When the ball drops in the eighteen-yard box that’s when he comes alive and he showed it again today.”