Xande Silva: U23s must keep going to achieve our goals
Focus on your own game first, not the opposition’s; play football on your own terms.
West Ham United U23s forward Xande Silva believes the Development Squad’s success so far this campaign has stemmed from that very mantra.
The Portuguese striker made an instant impact with Dmitri Halajko’s young Hammers after returning from a long-term lay-off in February, scoring three goals and recording an assist in four competitive appearances in Claret and Blue this season.
Such form earned Silva a nomination for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for February, and helped the U23s maintain their unbeaten season at the top of Premier League 2 Division 2 and reach a first-ever Premier League International Cup semi-final.
While their campaign – and football as a whole – is currently on hold, speaking prior to the suspension of professional football, Silva attributed the U23s’ ongoing success to their uncompromising desire to win football matches their way.
“We play the same way every game,” he told whufc.com. “We go out to win every game and that’s what we always do.
“In every game, we try to do what we do every day in training and that’s it. Every day we try our best, and that’s what we’ll keep doing.
“The team work every week for that kind of win, and I’m proud of our team, but [upon resumption of fixtures] we’ll need to keep going to achieve our goals.”
For me, a football player needs to be confident going into every game because it’s our job. Football is our work, it’s our life, our family
Silva’s obvious joy upon his return to action was a measure of the man who articulates his love of the game through flair and graft on the football pitch.
The 23-year-old was forced to undergo an emergency operation on his stomach last summer but, after following dedicated rehabilitation programme created for him by the Club’s medical staff, was beginning to build up some serious form prior to the pause in fixtures.
Playing as the recent talisman of Halajko’s offensively-minded U23s – who have scored three on more times on 17 occasions in 25 games this campaign – has just added to his resurgent confidence.
“It’s been very good to be back after a long time out injured,” Silva added. “Getting wins, while playing good football, is fun.
“For me, a football player needs to be confident going into every game because it’s our job. Football is our work, it’s our life, our family, everything comes together, so we need to play confidently.
“Every day we try our best, we train every day for this, and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”