Terry Westley said he was delighted with the test his players received, despite going down 4-1 against Fulham at Craven Cottage in Premier League 2 Division 2.
Nathan Trott and Djair Parfitt-Williams both started the match on the bench, with Parfitt-Williams coming on in the 73rd minute.
West Ham United found it tough against a side that boasted a number of regular first team players and two goals from Steven Humphrys, to go along with single strikes from Dennis Adeniran and Lasse Vigen Christenen made sure Toni Martinez’s penalty was a mere consolation.
Westley said afterwards the test that presented itself on Monday evening was hugely worthwhile.
“They had close to 400 appearances out there and they’ve played in a number of different leagues. That was the clinical difference,” he said.
“I’m delighted with the test my players received tonight. Our centre halves had a real challenge with their front two and they can get back on the bus and think they’ve put in a real shift tonight.”
“I can’t say that about everybody but in our job, if that’s the learning curve and we get better than it’s worth doing.”
The Hammers started the brighter of the two sides and almost took the lead when Marcus Browne’s free kick just evaded Marcus Bettinelli’s right hand post.
But the Cottagers went ahead against the run of play after Humphrys found the bottom corner from 25 yards.
They doubled their lead shortly after when Adeniran headed in from a corner before Humphrys added his second and Fulham’s third ten minutes before half-time.
Toni Martinez, on his return after seven weeks out through injury, got the Hammers back into the contest with a penalty on the hour mark, but the comeback was effectively stopped when Christensen found the roof of the net from close range.
The result ends the Hammers five match unbeaten run, as they quickly prepare for the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League Cup on Thursday.
“We haven’t got a big break now, we play again on Thursday. If we can beat Brighton that’ll be three wins on the trot in the Cup.
“That’ll nearly guarantee that we go through to the next stage so it’s a big game for us and we’ll turn our attention to that.”