U23 goalkeeper Anang ‘knew Newcastle would test us’
West Ham United U23 goalkeeper Joseph Anang knew that he was in for a busy Saturday afternoon at Newcastle United, he told whufc.com.
The young Ghana-born custodian, who has been an U18s regular in the past couple of years and has started both Premier League 2 Division 2 fixtures so far, recovered from conceding an early goal to play a starring role in the second half.
Dmitri Halajko’s men clung on to their 2-1 lead in blustery conditions, and Anang had suspected beforehand he might be called upon throughout.
Anang said: “We all know how good Newcastle are so, if you’re coming here as a goalkeeper, you should be expecting them to give you a good game and test you – and that’s what they did.
“The conditions were tricky. I remember thinking my last goal kick didn’t go down the pitch too far – the wind just took straight to the ball!”
We’ll train hard, do our homework on the opponent, and then we need to go again next Friday against Reading
The result for the young Hammers was perhaps more impressive than their performance, as the side battled to victory through a scruffy Joe Powell goal and a fortunate own-goal.
Anang stressed the importance of being able to win when not playing well, while mentioning the side would be doing everything to up their game for Friday's PL2 visit of Reading.
“I think we didn’t really start the game well,” he continued. “This is a hard place to come but I think, in the end, we managed to get a result, so we’re buzzing from that.
“We’ll train hard, do our homework on the opponent, and then we need to go again next Friday against Reading.”
Anang’s impressive individual display was capped by a fine stop four minutes into added time, plunging low to his right to keep out a drive otherwise destined for the bottom corner.
He said: “I had a few saves to make – but I most enjoyed the one low to my right, because it was at the very end and kept us in the lead.
“We just need to keep going, keep doing what we’re doing, and take it one game at a time.”
West Ham United U23 are next in action against a Brentford ‘B’ side at Griffin Park in a friendly on Tuesday 20 August.