Nathan Holland: U23s win was the most important thing

Nathan Holland

Winger Nathan Holland is just delighted his side claimed victory after his brace helped West Ham United U23s to a 4-2 win over Swansea U23s.

Holland and the U23s initially struggled for rhythm on Sunday afternoon as their hosts took an early lead and looked the more threatening side, but Anthony Scully’s one-on-one finish hauled them level before half-time.

The U23s came out in the second half a different team, however, with Holland scoring two brilliant finishes – both times cutting in from the left and finding the bottom right corner – before Dan Kemp’s fierce shot made sure of three more Premier League 2 Division 2 points for the league leaders.

“It was tough – Swansea made it tough – but we knew it would be like that,” Holland admitted. “We were ready for the test and, in the end, we found a way to overcome it.

“I think we stuck in during the first half and dug deep, and then in the second, when we got our chances, we looked really dangerous going forward, as we have all season. Luckily we got the four goals and finished them off.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the season, but we got the win, and that’s the most important thing.”

I just try to work on my finishing and make every single shot count, and luckily I got two goals today.

Nathan Holland

The impressive goals marked Holland’s eighth and ninth competitive goals of the season, and were of similar ilk to a number of other strikes this term, cutting in from the left before finishing emphatically.

The goals also fell in a week which has seen Holland shortlisted for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award, but Holland insists that he and his teammates are determined not to get ahead of themselves.

“I definitely work on that!” Holland said of his finishes. “I think everyone has their strengths as a player, and I’d definitely say cutting inside is one of mine. 

“I just try to work on my finishing and make every single shot count, and luckily I got two goals today, but broadly, it was a brilliant performance all team round.

“I’m just taking everything in my stride, working really hard. I’m happy to be fit and playing week in, week out, and hopefully I can just keep going.”

As for the side’s improvement in the second period, Holland credits the side’s leaders within the side and staff.

He said: “At half-time, [lead coach] Dmitri [Halajko] just told us to get back to what we have been doing all season. 

“We knew we were lucky to still be in the game, so we came out, and Conor [Coventry], the skipper, who’s been brilliant all season, just got us going, and we were able to turn it round and get the three points we all wanted.”

After four games in the space of just 13 days, the winger is now looking forward to the chance to recharge ahead of the U23s’ next game, against Exeter City in the Trophy, on Wednesday 13 November.

“The games have been coming thick and fast, but we’ve done really well in all four fixtures this fortnight,” he said. 

“Now it’s just a time to reflect on those and get ready for the next one – we’ll be prepared to go again against Exeter.”

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