Westley praises second half showing in Holland

  • Dev Squad boss Terry Westley was pleased to see his side come from behind against PEC Zwolle
  • The team were playing in their first Netherlands pre-season tour fixture
  • After falling 2-0 and 3-1 behind, the youngsters hit back to draw 3-3 on Wednesday
Development Squad manager Terry Westley praised his side’s second half performance as they came from behind to pick up a draw against PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands.
After the hosts raced into a two-goal lead in the 3-3 draw, the Hammers pulled one back through Sam Ford shortly before half time to reduce to deficit.
And, though Zwolle added a third seconds before the break, the east Londoners put on a second 45 masterclass as they passed the Dutch side off the park, scoring twice in the process through Joe Powell and Jahmal Hector-Ingram to level.
And after watching his men come out fighting to gain a draw, Westley had little but good things to say about the young Hammers.
He said: “It was a good performance against a team I consider to be good opposition. They were very technical and tactically aware of what they needed to do, and they caused our boys some problems early on.
“We started off on the back foot and conceded early, but slowly got to grips with it, and second half, we did very well. I was really pleased.
“Second half, we managed to get a little bit closer to them and got up against them and nicked the ball in a lot of forward positions. The third goal was a good team goal; it went back and through and then a good cross and finish by Jahmal [Hector-Ingram].”
Hector-Ingram – who has now scored in consecutive Dev Squad fixtures – impressed Westley, as did a number of other members of the team.
“Jahmal kept searching and kept trying to get in behind and caused some problems," the boss continued. "The two centre-halves, Jake Eggleton and Tunji [Akinola] kept us together, and Sam Howes made some saves which he needed to.
“Young Conor Coventry got us playing when he came on. But if I picked one individual, Kristjian Belic – 15-years-of-age playing in a mens’ game – really stood out.
“We’re working very hard in training. It’s not easy to take it into a game. We had a lot of replacements today but we were able not to play a few, too. We have some coming back with for us in the last big game before the start of the season so we look forward to that on Saturday.”
The Dev Squad face West Ham’s partner club VVV Venlo in the Netherlands on Saturday, with a 2pm kick-off UK time.