U23 coach Manning frustrated with mentality in Arsenal defeat

Manning: We’ll be working on our mentality


West Ham United U23 boss Liam Manning says his team will be working on their mentality next week in training after a 3-2 London derby defeat to Arsenal at London Stadium on Friday night.

The Hammers started slowly in the Premier League 2 clash once again and soon found themselves 2-0 down after Eddie Nketiah and Julio Pleguezuelo goals.

But the hosts regrouped at half time and came out a different side, halving the deficit with Xande Silva’s header before Nketiah grabbed another against the run of play to restore the Gunners’ two-goal advantage.

Reece Oxford made things interesting but ultimately West Ham could not recover and Manning was disappointed with his team’s attitude.

He said: “I think the mentality of our team; we need to work on it. We keep coming in at half time and then sorting it out; managers won’t pick you if you have to do that, and we have to address that this week. 

“We need to load up that in their heads; when they start a game, it’s a career they’re playing for, not just a game in the Premier League. They have to get their heads around that.

I think the mentality of our team; we need to work on it. Managers won’t pick you, and we have to address that this week

Liam Manning

Liam Manning and Steve Potts converse during the London derby

“We stepped it up in the second half, especially early on, and we were a lot better going forward and created a lot of chances and hit the bar. 

“Again, it comes back to finishing teams off when the chances come like that. They looked a threat and we looked too open at times.”

After conceding six against Manchester City on Sunday followed by another four in the Arsenal fixture, the coach believes defending will be on the agenda in training as well as the team prepare for next weekend’s trip to Liverpool.

“The frustrating thing at the minute is the manner in which we’re conceding goals,” he continued. “We spoke to the boys after; it’s a steep learning curve and the level they’re at now, they need to learn really quickly what the game’s about and they have to deliver, so it’s a frustrating one.

“It’s obviously something we have to work on in training, working on the defence. You have to be able to defend one-v-one and we will have to address it, because it can’t keep happening.

“A positive we can take was Nathan Holland; I think he was the pick of the players on the pitch, and ultimately that’s what it’s about. Of course we want to win games and do well as a team, but we can’t lose sight that it’s about developing players and I think Nathan was great tonight and showed his qualities going forward.”