Westley - That was the best performance so far

Terry Westley praised his side's performance after beating previously undefeated West Brom
Terry Westley described the 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten West Bromwich Albion as the best performance of the season so far.

The young Hammers extended their winning run to five games with a sterling performance at Rush Green. To a man, the Dev Squad were superb, and their efforts were rewarded when birthday boy Jaanai Gordon netted his third goal in two games with a powerful shot before Martin Samuelsen secured the win late on with a volley from a corner in stoppage time.

Speaking after the win, Westley said: “I’m delighted with the way we played, particularly against a very experienced side. We didn’t just win; we outplayed them and out passed them. The combination of all the hard work has come together for a fine result and a fine performance.

“I think collectively, with the team we were up against tonight, even if we hadn’t won tonight, I would still be delighted with the performance. We were terrific regardless of the result tonight, the added bonus if that we’ve won.

“In terms of the result, it’s probably the best we’ve had so far, and maybe the best result too.”

Having struggled for points early on in the season, the Dev Squad have now turned committed, hardworking performances into the points they richly deserve.

After Gordon had opened the scoring, Saido Berahino responded quickly by scoring a well-taken equaliser, however the hosts refused to be cowed and got their rewards seconds from time when Samuelsen, a real thorn in the Baggies’ side all evening got his just rewards as he connected to Josh Cullen’s inswinging corner.  

Westley continued: “The players are learning all the time which is important, and that’s our job to produce players ready for the first team. And then collectively, if they jell together then you have the makings of a good team. That’s a bonus really, now I’m seeing plenty of our players ready to make that step into the first team.

“Our stats will be high tonight, number of touches, passes, entries into their box will be positive. Then the confidence grows and the players believe in what you’re doing, and in themselves.  

“You can’t really pick out individual players tonight; we were good across the board.”

Up next for the Dev Squad is a tough home fixture at Upton Park against Arsenal, who beat the Hammers 5-0 earlier in the season.

However Westley believes the confidence garnered from their recent run of victories will count for a lot come next Monday.

“Five wins in a row at any level is a lot. We didn’t have a particularly good start, but we’ve caught up. Now we face Arsenal next at Upton Park, hopefully we’ll have a decent crowd supporting us.

“We had four U18s playing for us tonight and that combination of Cullen, Dobson and Browne is a joy to watch, they’ll bring something different to the table. Then out wide, Parfitt-Williams and Samuelsen can beat people, they’ll frustrate, but there aren’t many players who can beat players on the inside or outside, so we have plenty of options.

“Page and Knoyle looked like professionals tonight and the two centre-backs in the middle held it all together. Jaanai scored a great shot to cap it off.

“We’re now dominating games, and we can still improve on that. We’re keeping possession better. We’re creating the outcomes where our players can become Premier League players, we need to continue and maintain that level of performance we have now established. If we do that in the second half of the season we will have more outcomes where we produce Premier League players.”