Fletcher focuses on encouraging second half



  • Ashley Fletcher impressed during his full Premier League debut away at Manchester City yesterday
  • The 20-year-old said making his debut was "something I've dreamt about since I was a boy"
  • Despite the defeat, Fletcher said his side can take heart from their second half performance

Reflecting on an impressive full Premier League debut, 20-year-old striker Ashley Fletcher said he and his teammates can take heart from their second half performance away at Manchester City.

While the Hammers’ efforts ultimately proved fruitless as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat following a dominant performance from Pep Guardiola’s men, Fletcher’s encouraging display was a positive for Slaven Bilic to take into the international break.

After leading the line manfully, the youngster said of his debut: “Making my full Premier League debut is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a boy, it was extra special for it to be here as I’m a local lad. 

“Obviously the result was disappointing, but our second half performance was encouraging. I think we did deserve a bit more in the end. The first 20 minutes weren’t great but we slowly got back into the game, but then unfortunately, they scored again right at the end.”

After a slow start which saw City score twice in the opening 18 minutes, the Hammers rallied after the break.

Michail Antonio, pushed further forward, scored his second headed goal of the campaign to give the Hammers a lifeline, while Manuel Lanzini made a welcome return to action off the bench.

Fletcher continued: “The manager said at half time we needed to score the next goal in order to get ourselves into it and that’s what we did. We got a lot of confidence from that and tried to push for an equaliser.

“We know that we let ourselves down in midweek and then we knew it would difficult coming here to play City, a fantastic, inform team. But saying that, I think the second half showed we have that spirit, we just couldn’t get the equaliser at 2-1.”