Pike enjoying first team experience

Alex Pike put in an impressive display against the Shrimpers
West Ham United’s Alex Pike stated his ambition of staying involved with the first team squad after impressing in pre-season friendlies against Peterborough United and most recently Southend United. 

In a 3-2 victory over the Shrimpers, the 18-year-old right-back looked composed on the ball and solid in a defence which included new signing Angelo Ogbonna.

Speaking after the match in Essex, played in baking conditions, Pike said: “Hopefully I can stay in and around the first team as much as possible. I just want to keep on pushing.  

“Fingers crossed the opportunities continue to come. We’ve got a busy schedule, so hopefully I get another run out. Everyone needs to continue to work hard and impress the manager in order to get the chances.”

Another new player that impressed the travelling fans was undoubtedly Dimitri Payet, who scored two excellent goals in a man-of-the-match performance. 

The Frenchmen looked lively throughout his 70-minute debut, creating a number of chances for his teammates. 

Pike, among many others, was suitably impressed: “Dimitri is a brilliant player, he’s probably the best I’ve ever played with. He’s unbelievable on the ball and he’s going to add a lot to our team this year.”

As the Irons continue their busy pre-season schedule with three games next week, including a trip to Malta, Pike explained that he believed the Hammers will reap the benefits come the start of the season. 

“It was a tiring match, it was pretty hot out there so you tire quicker. I was pleased with how I started and I thought I was good on the ball. But I struggled a bit as the game went on.

“I think Saturday has helped massively with my fitness. I’ve still got a bit to go, but the 70-odd minutes I got today really helped. 

“At the end of the day, a win is always nice, even in a friendly. It’s obviously better than a draw or a defeat. Hopefully we can push on from here.”