Monday 06 Dec
Updated Monday 06 Dec 09:00

Brian Kinnear: West Ham United U23s want to play with a certain style

Brian Kinnear

Brian Kinnear feels that West Ham United U23s will be looking to impose their signature game against every opponent they come across.

The Hammers’ development squad have picked up some outstanding results so far this season on their way to the top of Premier League 2 Division 1, but they face another stern test of their title credentials in an away game against Crystal Palace on Monday lunchtime.

Summer arrival Kinnear, a Scotland U21 international goalkeeper, feels that his team have the quality to exude control within matches, and that this must be their target.

Prior to Friday’s 4-2 win over Swansea City in the Premier League Cup – Kinnear’s fifth appearance of the season – the Hammers’ last league outing was a slightly fortuitous 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, in which the ‘stopper made several fine saves to preserve the lead.

Having seen his side slightly lose their momentum in their latest win over the Swans, the goalkeeper has challenged his team to step up against the young Eagles on Monday.

 “Of course, every game we want to win, but we want to do it with a certain style,” Kinnear observed. “Hopefully, in the next game against Crystal Palace, you’ll be able to see that style even better. 

“You saw glimpses of it in the first half against Swansea. It was a good performance from us, not throughout the full game, but in the first half we did what we planned to do and played in the style we wanted to play in. 

“In the second half we were kind of sloppy, but it was good to get the three points. We ended up conceding two goals, but obviously we came away with the three points which was the main thing. 

“We’re still not happy with the two goals we conceded. We wanted a clean sheet, and hopefully going into the next game we can get that.

“There’s more to come, so hopefully we can get the win on Monday.”

I’ve just been enjoying it and hopefully there’s more to come

Brian Kinnear

Having largely rotated with Krisztian Hegyi around the U23s’ cup commitments so far, Kinnear was pleased to make his first back-to-back starts in Claret and Blue in the games against Blackburn and Swansea.

He noted: “It’s been good for me, because so far I’ve been in one game and then out again, but obviously it’s good to get a run of games going. 

“I’ve just been enjoying it and hopefully there’s more to come.”

Possibly the highlight of Kinnear’s Hammers career so far was an outstanding two-handed save to turn an effort from distance onto the bar against Blackburn – a magnificent and, given the eventual 1-0 scoreline, crucial save.

Kinnear laughed: “I don’t know if there’s too much I can say about it! The boy hit it and I just reacted. 

“It was a 1-0 win and the save ended up being important this time, unlike some other times! It was good, but we’re just happy we won the game.”

The goalkeeper was also in jovial mood when discussing his captain Aji Alese’s opening goal against Swansea.

The U23s centre-half intercepted a pass near the halfway line and went on a driving run which culminated in him beating three players, reaching the Swansea box and slotting home the opening goal on the way to a 4-2 victory.

Kinnear smiled: “Aji just kept going and going – the next minute he was in the box and he scored! 

“Fair play to him, it was a good goal and a good run – I didn’t expect it all though!"

West Ham United U23s’ match against Crystal Palace U23s will be played behind-closed-doors at Crystal Palace Training Ground, kicking off at 1pm on Monday 6 December. 

You can still follow proceedings, however, with our live blog on from 12.30pm and Twitter updates, and there will be post-match reaction and highlights pieces available over Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.