Mark Robson: West Ham United U23s must show me what they can do
New West Ham United U23s lead coach Mark Robson has called on his players to continue to illustrate the form which had led them to second place in Premier League 2 Division 1.
The young Hammers are thrown straight back into the action following the November international break with a testing fixture at home to Manchester City U23s at Rush Green on Saturday afternoon.
As last season’s runaway champions, City will provide a stern examination of the Hammers’ title credentials and aspirations, with Robson’s players aware that either a draw or victory would – at least until current leaders Arsenal play on Monday night – see them go top of the table.
And with former midfielder Robson enjoying his first training session in charge of West Ham U23s on Monday morning, the 52-year-old – who played 56 times over two seasons in Claret and Blue in the 1990s – is looking to apply his influence to an in-form side steadily.
He told whufc.com: “This week I’ve been introducing myself and certain things around how I want to play, but really and truly, I want them to come and show me what they’re about.
“I’ve only been here a few days and I’ll probably only have had four sessions before we get into the game. They’ve been doing so well, I don’t really need to change too much at the minute – I’ll let them keep doing what they’ve been doing.
“For me, it’s about running an eye over it and seeing where I can help and make some improvements, technically or tactically, but I want them to go and enjoy themselves on Saturday. I’d like to see them show me what they can do.
“I think it’s important that the boys understand about winning, and they’re doing that at the moment. They’re doing exceptionally well in Premier League 2 and hopefully we can continue that.”
A second-against-third fixture in Premier League 2 – Manchester City U23s themselves lie just a point behind West Ham in the table – poses an intriguing challenge for Robson’s first game leading the Irons.
They love to try and pass it, we certainly love to try and pass it, so hopefully it’ll be a good match-up
But as someone well versed in the values of playing in Claret and Blue, Robson recognises the potential for an exciting game, as the young Hammers look to keep a run of form going which has seen them win six of their last seven games in all competitions.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Robson confirmed. “Manchester City are a really good side.
“We’ve been looking at them and at a few of their recent games. They’ve got a really good bunch of players who are technically and tactically very good. I think it’ll be a really entertaining game.
“They love to try and pass it, we certainly love to try and pass it, so hopefully it’ll be a good match-up and we get a good performance that will give us the right result.”
West Ham United U23s’ match against Manchester City U23s will be played behind-closed-doors at Rush Green Stadium on Saturday 20 November, kicking off at 1pm. Only key personnel and invited guests will be admitted.
You can still follow proceedings, however, with our live blog on whufc.com from 12.30pm and Twitter updates, and there will be post-match reaction and highlights pieces available over Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.