Hammers coach McKinlay: “We are ticking along nicely”


Billy McKinlay

The Irons supporters who had travelled from all over Australia and beyond were rewarded with eight goals in the first match against Perth Glory and  Jarrod Bowen again showed his class scoring twice and Divin Mubama – himself a prospect to die for – grabbing one.

Despite the 9,000 mile journey, the lads showed no signs of jet lag as they set about their business Down Under and after 65 seconds were in front before doubling their lead.

Glory  pulled one back but sharply-taken goals from Bowen and Emerson made it 4-1. Mubama and Bowen had the final say to complete a very good night’s work.

It was a display that allowed coach Billy McKinlay top speak warmly of the performance ahead of the second game of the tour on Tuesday against the Spuds.

A crowd in excess of 50,000 is expected at the Optus Stadium and it will be of big interest to see which of the youngsters hold their place in what is always an important fixture against the deadly rivals.

McKinlay told West Ham TV afterwards: “We got a great welcome and the support we got was terrific as it has been since we’ve been here in Australia. So that was a good start to the game in terms of the support . I thought the performance was really good and in the first half it was a good game and they caused us some problems.

We played some good football at times, scored some good goals, and overall it was a really good workout. A couple of seasons ago we had a really good pre-season and scored shed loads of goals, if you remember that. We didn’t score too many goals in the last pre-season campaign, so starting with four and then six can only be a positive.

Scoring six goals was nice, and the front players being amongst the goals is always important. Jarrod scored a couple of goals and Divin and Gianluca scored, so we’re really pleased.

Speaking of Bowen he added: “He looks really, really sharp. We’re only ten days into pre-season and he’s come back like a house on fire. He’s a great player and  a great boy. In no way, shape or form will he get above his station after what happened in the final. He just works hard, he runs, he loves the game, and it’s a really good start.”

And of the game against Spurs he declared:  “It’s two London clubs, a great rivalry, and a derby on the other side of the world. We’re ticking along nicely with our preparation, so it’ll be a really, really good game.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

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