Manning happy with second-half impact against Tottenham
U23s coach Liam Manning is delighted with how his side performed in the second half of their opening game of the season; a 3-1 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham United had found themselves a goal behind after just six minutes but were level at the break as Xande Silva – making his competitive debut for the U23s – powered an effort home at the near post.
The striker then netted just a minute after the restart with a composed finish before completing his hat-trick on 49 minutes with another, excellent strike.
The result means the Irons are victorious in their first Premier League 2 match of the 2018/19 campaign, and Manning is overall pleased with how his team played, particularly in the second period.
In terms of looking at the game I think overall, we deserved the result. We’re pleased to get that win.
“Obviously, paramount for us is the performance,” Manning told whufc.com. “Of course, we want to win and in terms of looking at the game I think overall, we deserved the result. We’re pleased to get that win.
“We were slightly frustrated with the first half. To be totally honest I think that was more down to our own problems than Tottenham’s quality. They have some good players and showed moments of quality, but overall, we had to look at ourselves.
“We were a little too safe in position of the ball and we were playing square and back, as opposed to forward and looking to create a threat. We had to be more aggressive with our pressing too and we spoke to the lads about it at half-time, which clearly had an impact.”
The coach has also reserved praise for new signing Xande Silva after his three goals turned the game around for the Hammers.
Manning continued: “Xande Silva has done really well. He’s settled in, having been here just over a week now, and his attitude has been terrific.
“He has shown his quality in training, like he has tonight in this game. He’s a very quick, physical player, and he’s settled in quickly with the group.”
West Ham’s next U23s match will see the side take on Manchester City at home, and Manning has called on the team to begin each game with a performance like the one in the second half against Spurs.
A slow start to games is a pattern the coach has noticed since pre-season, and it’s one that Manning wants his team to take care of prior to Sunday’s fixture.
Manning added: “I think the big thing from this game is, if you look at tonight and our last two pre-season performances, we want to replicate our second-half performance from the start of games. I think in those three games we’ve started not well enough.
“We’ve been too slow in the first half before setting the standard in the second, and that’s the standard we want to see against Manchester City on Sunday."