Mark Robson admitted to being disappointed with the performance from his West Ham United U23s in defeat to Fulham.
Sonny Hilton’s second-half goal was the difference at Rush Green Stadium as the Irons fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Cottagers, ending their run in the Premier League Cup at the quarter-final stages.
After defeat to Liverpool in Premier League 2 last time out, Robson was hoping for a better showing from the Irons, but conceded the side struggled to get a foothold in the match.
“It’s very disappointing,” the U23s lead coach told whufc.com. “We didn’t perform in this game and, that’s a shame, because it was a big opportunity for the lads to play in front of the first team staff here at Rush Green, but we just didn’t get going. It’s disappointing.
“It’s a very similar performance to our one at Liverpool. I was hoping to get a reaction, but we can’t complain. We got beat fairly but we’re just disappointed with our overall performance. In possession, we gave the ball away too cheaply. We couldn’t get our rhythm.”
The U23s worked immensely hard to reach the last eight of the tournament, claiming top spot in the group stages before seeing off Leeds United with a 5-1 win in the round of 16, but Robson said missing out on the chance to progress in to the semi-finals made the defeat more disappointing.
“Going out with a place in the last four at stake leaves an added sting. We put a strong team out against a strong team in Fulham, who are doing well in their league. It’s disappointing because we didn’t control the game, they controlled the game and did it better than us.
“I’m expecting and demanding more from the players, but we didn’t have enough energy. We didn’t look to run in behind and overall, it’s a frustrating one.”
Results elsewhere on Friday mean West Ham’s chances of Premier League 2 were confirmed as over, with Manchester City claiming the Division 1 title.
With two league matches left to end the campaign, Robson is eager for his side to show their quality once again as they strive to make an impression for a chance at senior-level football.
He added: “There are still two games to play and a lot to play for. We need to try and find some decent performances individually and as a team. We’ve gone three out of four where it’s not been the best but these lads are still learning the game and they’re finding their way.
“At the moment it’s not quite working but the two games we’ve got coming up are really important. We want to go out and win them if we can and hopefully, from that, one or two can put in performances where they can get themselves in and around the first team. That’s always the aim for what we’re doing here.”