Harrison Ashby is feeling close to his best once again.
The full-back played the full 90 minutes for West Ham United U21s in Monday’s 3-1 Premier League 2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, helping the development side to an impressive performance and big three points.
Ashby’s efforts in the game included an assist in the first-half and a number of crucial passes for teammates, with the only blemish on his showing being an unfortunate own-goal.
The 20-year-old is thrilled to be back playing again though, after a short period out with injury.
“We’ve obviously not had the best of runs since the start of the season so to get a win in that style, and getting three very good goals with a good style of play, is a massive confidence boost for the lads,” he told whufc.com.
“It was a big one for me as well because I’ve been out with injury for a bit. For us to play like that, at home, and get such a big win is massive for us.
“I’m feeling good. I feel fit. I’ve got no recurring problems and a good couple of weeks in training. Obviously, I played Thursday night against FCSB in Romania, which was good, and I got a good 90 minutes against Wolves on Monday, so I’m feeling great.”
Ashby was given the captain’s armband for Monday’s Premier League 2 win, a role the defender was honoured to take on in a young development side as they earned a first league win of the 2022/23 campaign.
“In terms of the U21s, we almost had a completely new group at the start of the season,” he continued. “There’s been a couple of the more senior boys who have tried to help the younger lads along, but it has been a little slow going for us at times.
“I think, from Monday’s performance, you can see everyone is gelling together in this squad. Robbo’s tactics are doing wonders for us as well and you can see that in the games we’re playing too.
“Over the last year or so, I’ve been one of those more senior lads and I’ve been trying to use my voice both on and off the pitch, influencing our players in a good way. To be captain in Monday’s game hopefully shows I’m ready for that kind of role.”
Having made a substitute showing from the bench in the first team UEFA Europa Conference League win at FCSB last week, Ashby is targeting even more first team appearances this season.
The young defender also believes the U21s have shown they have the quality to get even more positive results before the 2022 World Cup kicks off.
He added: “I’m always trying to push to be in and around the first team. That’s the goal for all of us and I’m going to keep doing that. From the performance on Monday, we can hope a few of the young boys will be involved in the first-team Carabao Cup game on Wednesday against Blackburn Rovers.
“Whatever happens though, we’ve got a big couple of games at U21s level before the World Cup starts, and we need to get maximum points from them.”