Jahmal Hector-Ingram hopes West Ham United U23s’ month-long break without a game will give them the energy they need on Monday night to put in a performance and pick up Premier League 2 points against Liverpool.
The Hammers host the Merseysiders at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Chigwell Construction Stadium as they return to action having not played a competitive game since the mid-January draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Liam Manning and Steve Potts’ team did, however, have their fixture at Arsenal abandoned at half-time – when they were 3-0 down – due to fog at the start of February, and Hector-Ingram hopes the east Londoners have learned their lesson from that half of football ready for Monday’s game.
He said: “For sure, there was a lot to learn from that game. Things just weren’t going right from the get-go and we just weren’t good enough. But we’ve been training hard to try and rectify our mistakes since then and learn from what we did wrong.
“Luckily for us we’ve got another chance to put things right against Arsenal when that time comes again, but first we have to focus on this Liverpool game.
“As I said, we have been training hard and had a friendly against Lille which we won 1-0, so hopefully things will go well tonight. I wasn’t involved earlier this season when we beat Liverpool but the lads told me it was a hard game in which we took our chances and defended very well.
The likes of Vashon Neufville, Joe Powell and Moses Makasi all left the Club on loan during the January transfer window, giving the younger players in the Academy the chance to step up and impress, as well as new signing Mesaque Dju, who Hector-Ingram believes could be a big hit in Claret and Blue.
“Mesa is adding pace, power and finishing to the team,” the striker explained. “He’s a talented player for sure. He’s starting to get used to England and will need more time to adapt but he’s shown us in training what he’s got.
“Some of the senior lads have gone on loan doing what they need to do, which is good for them. That obviously means there are spaces for the younger lads to step in and get a chance to show what they can do. That’s, of course, a great opportunity for them.
“It’s just crazy how I’m one of the senior ones now – time has just flown by! But still have to try and lead them in the right way.
“It is an important game that we must win and I’m sure the lads that aren’t playing will be still be supporting us the same way.”