Westley - It's still all to play for

Terry Westley praised his player's commitment and concentration after a 1-0 victory
Speaking after the Development Squad’s 1-0 victory in the first leg of the Barclays U21 Premier League final, Terry Westley said he was delighted to have overcome a stubborn Hull City.

The visiting Tigers proved formidable opponents, solid in defence while a threat on the counter as it took the Hammers until the 90th minute to break their opponents down as substitute Djair Parfitt-Williams pounced on Doneil Henry’s header.

In what was the last U21 match ever at the Boleyn Ground, in front of an impressive audience of more than 10,000 Hammers, Westley reflected: “It was a tough game, like any cup final would be. We didn’t expect them to roll over for us, and I thought Hull were very good.  

“I think there was a little bit of nerves, due to the youthfulness of our players we have to except that, five of our players tonight can still play for the youth team.

“We weren’t quite as good as we have been for the majority of the season, and for that reason, taking a 1-0 lead into the second leg, I’ll take that.”

Goalscorer Parfitt-Williams, who has now netted four times in the claret and blues’ cup campaign made an instant impact since returning from injury.

Westley continued: “I’m delighted for Djair because he has worked so hard to become available for this game. He knocked on the door about a week ago and said I think I can play. But he hasn’t played for two and half months so we had to start him on the bench, so credit to him and all the staff who have helped him get back to quickly.

“The goal will be great for his confidence and we are delighted to have him back.”

In little more than a week, the Hammers make the journey north for the return leg and Westley and his players are under no illusions of how difficult the task in hand will be.

He explained: “It’s a tough game now; we know what we’re in for. That goal has obviously given the tie a completely different dynamic because they will have to come at us at some point.

“So that might open it up for us, but it’ll be tough, it’s all to play for.”