Onariase eyes win in final game

West Ham United defender Manny Onariase is relishing the opportunity to complete the double over Leicester City as the Development Squad look to finish a disappointing season on a high. 

Earlier in the year, the young Hammers beat the Foxes 1-0 at Rush Green thanks to a late goal from Djair Parfitt-Williams. 

Onaraise, who played a crucial role in the Dev Squad’s magnificent 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Friday 15 May said his side must rise to the challenge of playing two games in four days. 

“It would be nice to finish our season off with a win at Leicester. Steve Potts was saying as a first team player, you need to be ready to play two games in a week. Playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday. So playing two games in four days is a challenge, but one we’re looking forward to.”

The Dev Squad’s recovery will no doubt be aided by the fantastic win over the Blues. In a highly entertaining game, the Hammers recorded a deserved victory thanks to a superb strike from Josh Cullen in the 90th minute. 

In a superb team performance, the Hammers’ first away win all season ended Chelsea’s chances of lifting the Barclays U21 Premier League title. 

Speaking ahead of Monday's game with the Foxes, the eighteen-year-old defender described his emotions: “We were delighted to win at Stamford Bridge. We worked very hard as a team, we worked hard for each other and showed great desire. We deserved to win. 

“It was amazing to play at Stamford Bridge, there was a good atmosphere and a great experience. 

“It’s definitely our best performance of the season. Chelsea are a good side. They played more direct then I thought they would but I though we dealt with it well.” 

A further positive for the Dev Squad, particularly for the defence, was securing their third clean sheet. 

Despite Chelsea’s goalscoring prowess, the Hammers worked tirelessly to limit the hosts to only a handful of chances. 

Onariase, the commanding defender, praised his teammates, particularly his central defensive partner Josh Pask: “I’ve got a great partnership with Josh Pask. We get on very well with each other, on and off the pitch. We cover each other well, it’s a great partnership. 

“I’m more than pleased with the clean sheet, that’s my main job as a defender and we managed to do that today. 

“Toward the end of the game we had a corner and Josh was going up for it but I said to him ‘It’s not our job to score, if we don’t score, let’s not lose the game.’ Thankfully we did right at the end.”

Another positive omen for the Hammers ahead of Monday’s trip to the King Power is the fact that three of their five wins have come in Premier League stadiums, a factor that Onariase believes will help them. 

“Yeah I think we do play better when we’re in stadiums, I reckon the boys are more up for it, everyone is up for it. 

“I’m delighted with the last few months. Signing my contract and being on the first team bench. Hopefully I’ll continue to go up from here. I know I need to keep my head down and keep working hard. It’s a big season for me coming up next year. I just need to keep my foot on the pedal and keep going. 

“In some ways I’ve exceeded where I thought I might be but I’m on the right track. There’s a future path and a bigger picture I’m aiming for.”