- Nathan Holland shone as the Hammers’ U23s drew 0-0 with Aston Villa on Friday
- Assistant boss Liam Manning was delighted with the youngster’s efforts on his debut
- The hosts had a number of chances but could not break the deadlock at the home of Dagenham and Redbridge
West Ham United Premier League 2 assistant boss Liam Manning was full of praise for new signing Nathan Holland as the U23s recorded a goalless draw with Aston Villa on Friday night.
The winger, signed from Everton last weekend, started the game at Victoria Road and showed some nice touches during his hour-long performance, also having the Hammers’ best chance of the evening.
Although he was denied on that occasion, Manning was delighted for the youngster who impressed during a tight affair.
He said: “We were delighted with Nathan who was making his debut, and he showed some really nice touches. He hasn’t played a huge amount of football this season, so given that, we’re really pleased.
“He had a good chance first half and he showed people watching the qualities he has got. He will go from strength to strength.
“He’s a winger who is a bit different to the ones we have got because he’s so direct. He takes people on and he he has got a gear he can shift up quickly and accelerate and he showed that tonight.”
The Hammers were on top for the majority of the clash but could not take any of a number of chances, as their quality on the ball was often hampered by the pitch at the home of Dagenham and Redbridge.
“The conditions were difficult although actually the pitch held up OK after our inspection at 12pm,” Manning continued. “Given the style we want to play, it was hard and they probably helped Villa as the game progressed but as I say, I thought we dealt with it well and it was a good challenge.
“I thought we were very good first half to be fair. We had a large chunk of the possession and controlled the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t finish our chances.
“We didn’t quite have enough quality in and around the box and we couldn’t put one away. That’s frustrating, but we’re pleased with how we played.
“Every chance they get to play it’s a chance to show what they’re about and put on a performance. We have got some Cup games coming up and we want to kick on in that as well as try to get in the play-offs, so we have a lot to play for.”