Dan Chesters: West Ham United U21s need to have more belief in themselves


West Ham United U21s midfielder Dan Chesters was frustrated that his side couldn’t get back into the game after failing to score against Colchester United on Tuesday evening. 

The Hammers went behind against the U’s on seven minutes when Armando Dobra dinked the ball beyond Krisztián Hegyi and into the net. 

And that goal from the Albanian U21 international would be the difference at the JobServe Community Stadium, with the Hammers losing their second Papa John's Trophy Southern Group A match 1-0 in Essex. 

“It was a very tough evening,” Chesters told whufc.com. “I thought that we weren’t really that great on the ball out there tonight, which meant that we couldn’t create the opportunities and get into the areas that we wanted to at times. 

“It really wasn’t a great start from us, straight away we put ourselves on the back foot with the mistake, and then we had to fight to get back into the game. I didn’t think we were good enough in the first half for sure, and there are improvements we can make moving forward."

I think we need to have a little more confidence when we go up against sides like this

Dan Chesters

The 19-year-old was a livewire as per usual on a rainy night in Essex, but he and his team-mates weren’t able to open up the Colchester United defence, which was well guarded by two experienced centre-backs in Tom Eastman and Luke Chambers, who have over 1,000 Football League appearances between them. 

And it was the Hammers’ inability to unlock their opponents' defence that frustrated Chesters at the full-time whistle.



“There were times where we were able to put a couple of passes together and work the ball into good areas, but overall, I didn’t think our play was good enough tonight. 

“We kept going long with the ball, when really, we should have been patient and looked to work an opening.”

Despite the defeat in their second match of the group stage, it’s all still to play for as the east Londoners will now face Gillingham in their final match of this stage of the competition. 

And Chesters believes that the Hammers need to show confidence when they face up against sides that have more experienced players on the field than them. 

“I think we have to have a little bit more belief in ourselves,” Chesters explained. “We know we can beat anyone, as we showed in the last match in this competition against Ipswich. I think we need to have a little more confidence when we go up against sides like this.” 

West Ham United are back in Premier League 2 action on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome Everton to Rush Green Stadium, with the midfielder looking for him and his team-mates to bounce back from this cup defeat. 

“I think we need to come together as a group and show character to get back to our best against Everton. I think all the boys will be up for it, and I think we can get a good result against them. 

“We want to continue working hard to make sure we finish as high up in the table as we can come the end of the season,” he concluded. 

Rapid Vienna tickets now on sale