Manning finds plenty of ‘good aspects’ in Derby loss



Liam Manning says he was able to see ‘plenty of good aspects’ in his West Ham United U23s’ performance against Derby County, despite losing the game 2-0. 

An unfortunate Reece Oxford own-goal and Louie Sibley’s 73rd minute strike saw Derby continue their good run in Premier League 2, inflicting a defeat on the Hammers in Saturday’s fixture. 

The Irons enjoyed plenty of time on the ball in the midfield however, and Manning says his side can take heart from certain areas of their play against County. 

“I think we played quite well, to be fair,” Manning told “I thought there were large periods where we controlled possession and I think, between both boxes, we were the better team. 

While we’re disappointed to not win the game, on reflection there were a plenty of good aspects to the match. 

Liam Manning

“The slightly frustrating thing is we didn’t create enough chances in their box and we weren’t direct enough or looked to shoot enough. But, I think we played okay overall. 

“There were some good performances against Derby today and, while we’re disappointed to not win the game, on reflection there were a plenty of good aspects to the match.”

Manning admits that the first half showing from his young Irons side was lacking a bit of attacking intent, but the coach was delighted with how his side looked to get forward in the second period.

He continued: “The first half, we were a little bit safe in position, playing it square and then back a bit too often. We spoke about that at half-time and, credit to the lads, they got into some really dangerous areas at the start of the second half. 

U23s v Derby


“There was the shot stopped on the line, Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s header and some other good chances in the second half. We looked more of a threat so we’re pleased to take that from today.”

The U23s have a quick turnaround, with another match on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy away to Yeovil Town, and Manning was happy to see Dan Kemp and Moses Makasi both play the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s match. 

The midfield duo are both continuing returns from injury and Manning feels, despite the defeat, the Derby game was a good test fitness-wise for the pair.

Manning added: “Obviously, we’re now straight into the next game. We got more minutes today for Kempy and Moses and they’re getting to the point now where they are almost back to where they were before their respective injuries in terms of fitness.”