Knightbridge: U21s excited for PL2 playoffs quarter-final

A positive season for Jacob Knightbridge could turn into a winning one as West Ham United U21s prepare for a Premier League 2 playoffs quarter-final away at Sunderland on Monday evening.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper has impressed this season for the development side, with his work, with and without the ball, often going under the radar due to the free-scoring nature of this side and their attacking quality.

That was illustrated again from Knightbridge in the U21s' 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in the last 16, with the stopper making a crucial save at 2-1, before a late flurry of goals saw the young Irons coast throughat Rush Green Stadium.

A chance to play either Nottingham Forest or Reading in the semi-finals awaits should Knightbridge and company leave Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground with a last-eight win over the Black Cats.

The aim to repeat an early-regular season win over Sunderland in August last year is clear ahead of a trip to Tyne and Wear, then.

Whoever we are playing we have to focus on ourselves and what we do well because I think whoever we play we have got a chance of beating them.
Jacob Knightbridge

It has been a really positive season for me with the U21s being around a few first-team matchday squads. 

I am hoping to finish the season on a good note and have a good run in these Play-Off games. 


When we played Sunderland earlier in the season, we had a really good game to win 2-0. 

We played around their press quite well and got those goals in the first half too. We would like the same result on Monday, but we have got to continue what we have been doing in the year because it has worked so far!


Whoever we are playing we have to focus on ourselves and what we do well because I think whoever we play we have got a chance of beating them

We know with the attacking players we have – Callum [Marshall], Gideon [Kodua], George [Earthy], and Kamarai [Swyer] – we are going to get chances, and that we have the quality to take them.


Whenever you are playing away, you’ve got to go there with the same mentality that we have been playing for the rest of the year

We want to be aggressive and take the game to them. That is the attitude that we have had this year and we have got to continue that into what we hope will be three more games.


As a league into a cup competition, it gives a different aspect to the season.

It didn’t matter where you came in the league, as long as you’re in the top 16, you can win it, and it’s all decided in the Play-Offs. Because of that, you have that added pressure which is enjoyable, and any footballer wants to play under that pressure because it is such a good experience to learn from.