Moses Makasi hopes he can continue to make an impact on his return from injury when his West Ham United U23 side travels to Leicester City on Friday night.
The young Hammers take on the Foxes, a day before the identical first team fixture, in Premier League 2 as they look to record a second successive victory.
And Makasi, who last weekend played his first game since picking up a knee problem on loan at League One Plymouth Argyle last campaign, wants to pick up from where he left off after Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Swansea City.
“It felt nice to be back [last week],” he said. I’ve had six months out with the injury so it was really good to top it off with a win.
“It was a weird game to come back into against Swansea. We obviously went 4-0 up and to concede three goals wasn’t good but the main thing is that we got the result. Swansea pushed us hard but we got the three points.
“It’s going to take some time for me personally and I still don’t feel myself but with more minutes in my legs, I’ll start to get back to it. I know that it can be a slow process and I don’t want to rush things so I just need to take my time with it before I find my best form. Hopefully I can continue to do that on Friday.”
Reece Oxford has been captaining the side in Makasi’s absence, but the 23-year-old central midfielder reclaimed the armband at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday and hopes he can lead the team while also putting himself in the first team manager Manuel Pellegrini’s eyeline.
It’s going to take some time for me personally and I still don’t feel myself but with more minutes in my legs, I’ll start to get back to it.
“It felt good having the captain’s armband on again as well,” he continued. “There are a lot of young players in our squad this year so it’s the responsibility of the captain to guide those players, so hopefully I can get back to doing that now. Reece has done well with the armband and hopefully we can continue to have more leaders in the team going forward.
“For me at first now, I want to keep playing games, getting minutes in my legs and hopefully a few 90 minute games soon. After that, I want to see where it takes me and the first team is obviously the aim. I did well at Plymouth last season so a loan move again is obviously a possibility too.
“The manager has been great with us and he’s given the young players a chance. It’s good for everyone else at the Academy to see that that is happening and there is a pathway there. Grady has taken his chance, Conor and Powelly made their debuts and obviously Dec’s there.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks and months I can strive for that and put myself in a good position to do that, and that will start now with the Leicester game.”
The U23s take on Leicester at 7pm on Friday 26 October at City’s Holmes Park. Look out for our live blog on whufc.com for live minute-by-minute coverage.