Nathan Trott’s West Ham United Under 23 assistant boss Liam Manning was pleased with the way Trott and his teammates dealt with the challenge of an experienced Swansea City team despite a 3-0 defeat in South Wales.
The young Hammers – who ended the game with four U17 players on the pitch – were the better side for much of the first half and parts of the second but were outdone by the Swans who took their chances on the break.
George Byers and Jordon Garrick scored for the hosts before the break and substitute Kenji Gorre added a late third as Terry Westley’s side looked for a way back into the game two minutes from time.
Despite the defeat – the Hammers’ first of 2018 – Manning took the positives from the evening, in particular the performance of Marcus Browne who played his first 90 minutes of the season after a difficult spell on the sidelines through injury.
He said: “It was difficult tonight but we look at all the good things, of which there were many. We played with a good style. There was also Marcus, who got 90 minutes out there tonight and played well. That was a huge positive.
“The age of the group, also, we’ve got to mention. We had a lot of young players against a really physical Swansea City. They are quite an old team too; they have no youth team players and they’re pretty old.
“They are well organized, they’re solid and they’re quite direct so it was hard to play against them. Having said all that, I thought we did well, although we lost 3-0, we’re happy.
“We thought we were probably the better team in the first 45 minutes. We had more possession, we were more of a threat and we were the better team. So it was very frustrating to go in two behind. Their style, going direct into the nine and the eleven running off him, it was a great challenge for us.”