- Reece Burke made his comeback from injury on Monday night at London Stadium
- The defender played 90 minutes as the PL2 Hammers were beaten by Middlesbrough
- Burke was delighted to finally be back in claret and blue
Reece Burke was delighted to be back out on the pitch in claret and blue, despite West Ham United PL2’s 3-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.
The 20-year-old has endured a wretched few months on the sidelines through injury, but made his comeback for the U23s as their play-off hopes took a dent at London Stadium.
Burke, currently on loan at Wigan Athletic, is unsure whether he will return to the Latics as they fight relegation in the Sky Bet Championship, but the defender was still pleased to get some much needed minutes on Monday.
“It was good to get 90 minutes after a long time not being on the pitch,” admitted Burke. “I’m buzzing with it but obviously not buzzing with the result.
“It’s not nice, it’s probably one of the worst things in football being injured but some injuries you just can’t do anything about.
“Obviously you have to stay strong and there are always things you can work on off the pitch. That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m glad to be back.
“There’s a chat I need to have with the physio. The plan was once I get 90 minutes and felt fully fit, I’d be going back up north and hopefully getting some games under my belt and help Wigan stay up. But we’ll wait and see.”
Burke made his return at the heart of the Hammers back four, but could not prevent Boro from travelling back to Teesside with all three points.
Obviously you have to stay strong and there are always things you can work on off the pitch. That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m glad to be back.
Terry Westley’s men edged a tight first half but went behind on the stroke of half-time when James Husband’s free-kick was deflected beyond Nathan Trott.
The Hammers could have equalised immediately when Dan Kemp headed against the crossbar. Substitute Joe Powell then nodded against the upright minutes after the break, as the hosts wondered how the scores were still level.
Boro created very little throughout the match but took their chances when they came – Hayden Coulson prodded home the second before Marcus Tavernier volleyed home a loose ball for the third.
Anthony Scully netted a consolation goal with ten minutes to play after a terrific free-kick, but the Hammers were ultimately beaten by three set-pieces goals.
“They were pretty sloppy goals from us to be fair,” added Burke. “I thought we dominated the game especially in the first half and we had the better chances but we weren’t clinical enough today.
“Obviously the next game is even bigger now. We need to win but we needed to win tonight. The pressure is on us now and I’m sure the boys will be fine. We’ve been playing well and we have much better quality than most of the teams in this league.”