Jayden Fevrier: U18s played true to our identity
When knockout football is underway, it’s easy to allow yourself to play with even the slightest hint of fear – but West Ham United U18s stayed true to themselves in the 5-0 win over Norwich City U18s, according to captain Jayden Fevrier.
Those fortunate enough to be in attendance at Carrow Road on Monday afternoon witnessed a free-flowing, exciting FA Youth Cup fourth round tie, with both teams committed to their attacking football.
That is not to say, however, that West Ham were open, with the Hammers structuring themselves maturely and digging in to manage difficult spells of the game when they needed to.
The end result was a clean sheet and a thumping win, with Fevrier himself contributing a first-half goal and assist to go with strikes from Mipo Odubeko (two), Jamal Baptiste and Kai Corbett.
The 5-0 win sealed the Hammers’ first spot in the FA Youth Cup fifth round in nine years, and Fevrier was pleased with their collective performance.
“That’s what you want, to come into the fourth round and win as we did,” he told whufc.com.
“It was good to keep our first clean sheet of the season and it was a good performance from the whole team.
“The Youth Cup is different in a sense. It can difficult, especially because of the history that this Club has had in this competition, for us to fully clear our heads, but I thought the players did very well at that today.
“We stuck to our playstyle and played to our identity and personality, so nothing really changed for us – we just wanted to go out there and win the game.”
The 17-year-old led out a team at Carrow Road which featured players with a variety of experiences at West Ham United thus far.
Making his first U18s appearance of the season, Odubeko – who has also made two first-team appearances this season – was clinical in front of goal, but was joined in impressing by two of the Club’s U16 players: left-back Regan Clayton and second-half substitute and fellow forward, Divin Mubama.
Indeed, while wearing the captain’s armband, Fevrier was impressed with how every one of the boys in Claret and Blue played their part in the comprehensive victory.
The winger observed: “We’ve got immense ability in the team. It was great for us to have Mipo back from the first-team and U23s – he was a great addition to the team.
“Also, our young players like Regan and Divin, who came on, are very good and can add to the team. It’s good that we have young players who can do that.
“Every player showed their quality and class.”
As for his side’s FA Youth Cup hopes going forward – the young Hammers will learn the identity of the opponent they will face in the last 16 on Friday – Fevrier believes the U18s will remain grounded.
Inspired by the hard work and humility which led to Monday’s impressive result – from the training pitch right the way through to the final whistle – the winger just wants to see his teammates continue to put in the hard yards to improve, and then see where that takes them.
He concluded: “Today's result gives us a lot of confidence going forward.
“We believe that we can do well, we just need to stick to our identity and personality and play how we did today – if not even better.”