Manning: Porto will be a different challenge

Liam Manning


Liam Manning says his West Ham United U23s will have to be ready to face a different style of football when Portuguese giants FC Porto bring their youth side to east London in the Premier League International Cup on Tuesday.

The holders are two-time International Cup champions having lifted the trophy in 2016/17 as well as last season and will provide West Ham with a tough test when they travel to the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

The Hammers, who were beaten 3-0 by Leicester City on Friday in Premier League 2, will be hoping to get their International Cup campaign off to a good start in Group A ahead of fixtures against Dinamo Zagreb and Southampton later this year. 

Tuesday’s hosts faced Portuguese opposition last campaign when Benfica travelled to Billericay Town in the same tournament, with the Águias running out 2-0 winners.

U23 boss Manning believes it will be a stern test for his team but he is looking forward to seeing how his outfit respond to the challenge.


“Porto are a club with a great history and they have a good record of bringing through young players,” he said.

“It will be a completely different style to what we got from Friday’s game and I’ve said that before; it’s what is so great about the U23s games programme. You get that blend of physical and big teams and then the next game you’ll play teams who are completely different. 

It will be a completely different style to what we got from Friday’s game and I’ve said that before; it’s what is so great about the U23s games programme.

Liam Manning

“It’s a quick turnaround for us now so we have to get over the disappointment of Friday and get ready to go and put a performance in on Tuesday.”

The U23s blooded a number of young players on Friday, with Jayden Fevrier making his Premier League 2 debut from the bench and U18 stars Sean Adarkwa, Ajibola Alese, Dan Chesters and Emmanuel Longelo all starting at Holmes Park.

And while it was vital experience for the youngsters who were involved, Manning was also pleased with the reason his side were ultimately left short.

“We obviously had a lot of U18s playing because there were so many over with the first team. Joe Powell, Conor Coventry and Grady Diangana were all with them, and Declan Rice of course,” he continued. 

“That’s ultimately the job and the most rewarding thing, when we go over to Rush Green and the manager says he is going to be taking some players with him, that’s rewarding for everyone in the Academy. 

“We’re delighted with that but now for us it’s who is next, who are we going to push and get in front of the manager next. Some people from Friday come back with credit in that and others have some work to do.”

West Ham United's International Cup fixture against FC Porto kicks-off at 7pm at Dagenham and Redbridge's Chigwell Construction Stadium. Season Ticket Holders and Claret Members can attend the game free of charge, while tickets for other adults and concessions are priced at £5 and £3 respectively.