Brian Kinnear: West Ham United U23s are fully determined to put things right


West Ham United U23s goalkeeper Brian Kinnear recognised that his team’s collective performance fell short of the usual standard against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A 1-0 defeat in the Premier League Cup marked the Scotland youth international’s first competitive appearance since signing for the Hammers in the summer.

But it was to prove a frustrating start for Kinnear and the U23s in their first game of Group F, as Harry Birtwistle’s 12th-minute goal – coupled with a failure to make enough of their possession or openings – granted Wolves victory.

Kinnear himself marked the occasion with a couple of impressive stops with his legs, particularly from Aaron Keto-Diyawa and Owen Farmer who had both run clear in the closing stages, but was just as frustrated as his team-mates at the full-time whistle.

“It was good to get out there and play, but obviously the result didn’t work out for us and as a team we know we can play better than that,” the 20-year-old told 

“The first half we know we weren’t good enough – we can play better than that. In the second half, it was a bit different – the first 20 minutes they were still pushing in the game, but after that they sat off and we took over the game, and we just didn’t score from our chances. 

“All of us in the changing room know that it wasn’t good enough from us. We can play better than that, and obviously we’ve got Leeds coming up in the next game, so hopefully we can show in that what we can actually do.”

Despite his saves keeping the Hammers in the game at various stages throughout the match, Kinnear admitted he would have enjoyed a quieter afternoon’s work at the Aggborough Stadium.

The boys know the standard and we want to get back up to it

Brian Kinnear

“At the end of the day, we didn’t win,” he said. “I’d rather have nothing to do and for us to win. 

“For me, obviously, I had a couple of saves in the first half and the second half, but at the end of the day we still didn’t win, so there’s not a lot you can take away from it.

“We’re fully determined to put it right. We’ve got the weekend off to refresh, and then we’re back in on Monday. The boys know the standard and we want to get back up to it. Hopefully we’ll show that in training on Monday.”

Kinnear’s first game coincided with fellow goalkeeper Krisztian Hegyi’s selection for Hungary U21s during the international break.

But the Scot, who came through the ranks at Rangers and completed a successful trial with the Academy of Football before putting pen to paper on a contract last month, is determined to vie with Hegyi - and the Academy's other crop of talented young goalkeepers - for the U23s’ No1 shirt.

He concluded: “I think that’s the main thing. If I’m not coming in to compete for the No1 jersey, then there’s no point in being here. 

“Kris has been brilliant since I came in. He’s helped me out and I’ve got a good relationship with him in terms of training as well. Obviously, he’s away on international duty which gave me the opportunity to play today. 

“Hopefully I can just keep doing what I’m doing, build on that performance today, and see what happens from there.”

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