Manning – We’ve set the standard

Liam Manning highlighted multiple factors that went into an impressive performance
Speaking after a youthful Development Squad’s 2-1 victory away at League One Peterborough United, Academy coach Liam Manning highlighted multiple factors that went into the impressive performance.

The Hammers got off to a terrific start as Jaanai Gordon opened the scoring after just two minutes with a well taken strike on the edge of the box.

The hosts got themselves back in it immediately after half-time as striker Shaquile Coulthirst dusted himself down before equalising calmly.

Just as it looked as though a draw was the more likely result, Dan Kemp was fouled after dancing his way into the box. Upstepped right-back Alex Pike in the 90th minute and confidently despatched his spot-kick into the bottom right corner.

Reflecting on the hard-fought win, Manning said: “We were just speaking to the boys in the dressing room, they’ve set the standard tonight and that’s what we want to see in every game, starting with Southend this weekend. Tonight we showed a lot of good traits, maximum competitiveness, maximum effort and commitment mixed with quality.
“We’re in a good position but there’s always more work to do. You can’t get carried away in pre-season. It’s a long season, we know that, so we’ll keep plugging away but tonight was obviously a great experience to play against a good club like Peterborough. It was a great test of our fitness and I thought we looked sharp to be fair.”

Just like the team that started against Chelmsford City last Friday, Terry Westley elected to field a relatively young starting XI, in particular the defence consisted of youngsters Mason Barrett, Tunji Akinola and captain Josh Pask, all of whom stood up to the difficult test.  

Manning continued: “We always knew we were going to be quite young with the number of players out with the first team in Austria. That’s great for the lads and great for the Academy. We did a bit of work with the players yesterday and that went well.

“We knew how we wanted to set up and thankfully we put that into practise. We knew Peterborough would be a little bit older and more experienced than us.

“We knew we had to stay compact and we played with a lot of discipline, we probably sat back a little bit more than we would have liked usually, but overall we were very effective.”

*Pictures courtesy of Joe Dent/Peterborough United Football Club