Will Greenidge was thrilled to return from injury and start for West Ham United U23s in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
The defender had not featured for the development squad in over three months after sustaining an injury during the festive break, with the 19-year-old making his long-awaited comeback against the Blues.
Greenidge played almost an hour upon his return to Mark Robson’s side and the Academy full-back was thankful for the lead coach’s confidence in him.
“It was great to be out there,” Greenidge told whufc.com. “It’s always good to be back on the pitch.
"It was a big game to come into for my first game back, but I’m just happy to be back playing and getting minutes under my belt.
“I’m feeling good. Physically I feel very good. Mentally, it takes some getting used to.
"You have to be switched on all the time and, just before I came off, I was slowly getting more tired and I could feel the concentration levels wanting to fade.
“It was a big show of confidence from the gaffer. To come back from being out for so long and the gaffer telling me that I was starting and that he trusted me, it gave me a good boost before the game.”
Sonny Perkins had given the Hammers the advantage at Kingsmeadow but Chelsea came back through Thierno Ballo’s headed effort on 75 minutes.
West Ham were forced to play the closing moments with ten men as Jamal Baptiste received a straight red card on 90 minutes for an off-the-ball collision.
“It was a difficult game against a good Chelsea side,” Greenidge reflected. “They kept the ball a lot and they played well.
"They knew how they wanted to play against us. At times, we kept the ball well too and we tried to play through them.
“A draw, coming away to Chelsea, isn’t a bad result. We had to dig in at times and we can be content with our share of the points, but at the same time we know we can do better because we weren’t at our best.”
The U23s are next in action this Friday at London Stadium, where they play Brighton & Hove Albion, and Greenidge is confident the development side can claim the three points.
“We know there are improvements we can make. We know where we were missing aspects of our performance.
“Hopefully we can have a good week in training before we play Brighton on Friday. We need to get the finer details right in training and hopefully that makes the difference at London Stadium.”