Nathan Holland wants to continue catching the eye during West Ham United’s pre-season tour of Germany.
The youngster was in lively form in the Hammers’ two warm-up fixtures in Austria and is now planning to make a further impression during this weekend’s Betway Cup double-header with Werder Bremen.
Just a month past his 19th birthday, the talented attacker wants to impress manager Slaven Bilic by showing not only his ability but also his versatility.
“I felt it went well in the two games we had in Austria and I felt I adapted to it quite well, and the more I train with them and the more game-time I get, the more it will improve my confidence,” said the Greater Manchester-born player.
“Against Sturm Graz I made my debut and against Fulham I played against a good Championship team and did well, so obviously it built my confidence and I’m just happy with the way it’s gone and hopefully I can kick on again.
“In the first game in Austria, the manager tried me in the No10 position and I thought I did quite well there. In the second game, he put me onto the wing and I thought I did well there as I’ve played there quite often and that’s my main position. At the end of the day, wherever you play you’ve just got to do the best you can do.”
We’ve got a very strong team, but the gaffer always speaks to us. He definitely believes in us
The former Everton Academy star is one of a number of promising youngsters with the first-team squad in Germany this week, with goalkeepers Joseph Anang and Rihards Matrevics, defenders Reece Burke and Declan Rice, midfielder Josh Cullen and forward Toni Martinez also being given opportunities to impress Bilic and his backroom staff.
“It’s good to have a few of your mates with you, especially off the pitch, as they are people you’ve known for a while, so if a few of you are stepping up then you can just help each other,” Holland observed. “The skipper [Mark Noble] has also welcomed us all, so that’s been good too.
“We’ve made quite a few great signings and they can only make us better by showing us what they can do and we just have to keep kicking on and, if our chance arrives, we have to take it.”
And Holland certainly believes West Ham is the right club for the likes of himself and his fellow young professionals to be given first-team chances, providing they show the standards required for Premier League football.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got a very strong team, but the gaffer always speaks to us,” he concluded. “I think you’ve got to have a little bit of luck along the way and if your chance does come, you’ve got to take it.
“The gaffer definitely believes in us.”