Mark Robson West HAm United U23s v Chelsea

Mark Robson: U23s couldn’t find our flow

Mark Robson admitted the performance from his West Ham United U23s against Chelsea was not up to the level that the team has set themselves.

The Irons returned to Premier League 2 action away to Chelsea on Friday and looked like leaving Kingsmeadow with a win after Sonny Perkins’ coolly taken finish in the second half. 

However the Blues levelled on 75 minutes and, in truth, the Hammers were holding on for the point come the end after losing Jamal Baptiste to a red card in added time. 

“I’m glad we’ve got something from the game but, to be honest, we’re a bit disappointed with the performance,” Lead coach Robson told “I think the biggest thing for me was we gave the ball away too many times.

Our detail around what we were doing wasn’t at the level we’re used to.
Mark Robson

“Our detail around what we were doing wasn’t at the level we’re used to. If I’m being honest it was not near what we expect from the boys. If they want to go and play first-team football, then that wasn’t near it. But they know that and we’ve talked about it. 

“There was a bit of improvement in the second half but, overall, there just wasn’t enough quality and good detail in this game. For whatever reason, we didn’t have our flow at all. We had too many shots against us and most of them came through us giving the ball away. We needed to retain it better. 

“Their goal, we didn’t defend as well as we know we can. There was one mistake, which led to another mistake, and then a third mistake, and then it’s the goal. It’s a learning curve for the boys.

“We scored a great goal. I thought Armstrong’s run and pass for Sonny was excellent, and great composure from Sonny. Going a goal up early in the second half, I thought it might settle us a bit, but it didn’t quite happen. Overall, we’re pleased with the point but the performance was only okay.”

Robson noted that, with fixture postponements, it has been a few weeks since some of his team have played a match and feels the lack of action may have played a small part in the performance. 

Sonny Perkins celebrates his goal v Chelsea


“Some of our lads haven’t played for a while, for a number of weeks, given the Blackburn postponement and the fixture list, so those lads probably needed the game. 

“I thought Aji was really good today. I thought he was really comfortable and his passing was very good. There were little bits with Dan Chesters. I would have liked to have got the ball to him a bit more in both halves.”

Attention now turns to next Friday and a match against Brighton & Hove Albion at London Stadium. 

Robson is looking forward to leading his team out at the home of West Ham United for the first time.

“We’ve got another big game next Friday. It will be great for them to get the opportunity to play on the London Stadium pitch. I’m looking forward to it too because I’ve not been involved in a game there. It will be my first one. It’s always great to play at the main stadium and it will be great for these boys. 

“We hope we can have a good week. We’ll figure out what the week looks like and hopefully we can prepare ourselves well for that one, and put on a better performance.”


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