Westley - A draw was right

Terry Westley thought 1-1 was a fair scoreline from the Dev Squad's game with Arsenal on Monday
Academy manager Terry Westley thought honours even was the right outcome from Monday's Barclays U21 Premier League clash with Arsenal.

The Hammers were only nine minutes away from claiming all three points thanks to Alex Pike's goal, before Chris Willock levelled it up.

While there may have been a sense of frustation that West Ham could not quite see it through to the end, Westley was nevertheless satisfied with the performance.

He explained: "When you're 1-0 up with 15 minutes to go, you're hoping that you're going to go on and get a victory, but in fairness it was probably about right.

"The key moment was at 1-0 when we had two very good chances to go 2-0 or 3-0 up early in the second half. If they go in it disheartens the opposition and gives us a real platform to go on and win the game.

"Our goalkeeper has also made some very good saves to keep us in the match, so all round I think a 1-1 draw is about right in a very good standard game."

When these two teams met at Emirates Stadium in August, Arsenal won by a thumping 5-0 scoreline, so after his side extended their unbeaten run to six on Monday, Westley said that was a good marker of their progress.

He continued; "I think, when individuals start doing their jobs properly it makes the team better collectively. When you get one doing it, then two or three, all of a sudden you've got a good team with a good balance.

"We've got good players and I've always said from day one that I arrived that there's no question we've got some very talented players. In the last few months they've started to bring that to the table.

"We could quite easily have won on Monday, so yes there has been a big improvement from the start of the season."

Overall, Westley was pleased with his team's final game of 2015 and says they will take plenty of confidence from their recent good run.

"All round it's a satisfying evening," he added. "We remain unbeaten going into Christmas which is nice, and the players put in a real shift. 

"Julian Dicks said to them afterwards that's what expected of you when you play for West Ham - you have to play with that amount of commitment whether in training or in every game you play.

"On that, I think Pedro Obiang deserves a big mention, because if a senior player plays for the U21s, he's set a real benchmark of how you should play and how you should help the younger players, as well as having that little bit of quality. He did all three things on Monday."