West Ham’s under 23s rook a 3-1 beating from Derby County last night (Mon) with the midlanders hitting them with two early efforts before grabbing a third after Sonny Perkins pulled it back to 2-1.
And the highly promising 17 year old Hammer Jamal Baptiste was particularly upset with the result declaring: “It was a disappointing game for us. We worked hard together as a team but weren’t able to get anything from the game.
“Derby were really direct into their frontmen, which caused us a lot of problems at the back. We dealt with it well at times, but at the same time we could have done better. It’s a tough result to take, but we need to improve going forward.”
The first half was a pretty even match up for both sides, with neither side really able to get a grip on the ball and control the play as they would have liked.
And Baptiste believes that the Hammers need to show more energy and desire in their play, as they did against Ipswich Town and Leeds United in previous outings.
“I think we lacked a little bit of energy and desire. Our overall play was a little bit off tonight and you can’t have that when you play teams in this division, as they will punish you.”
There was a reason for Baptiste to smile, though, at the full-time whistle. His friend, Perkins fired in his first goal for the development squad, and his team-mate was delighted to see him find the back of the net.
“I’m delighted for Sonny to get his goal, he’s one of my closest friends and it’s great to see that his hard work down in the U18s has paid off, and he’s been rewarded for that work with a goal.”
The young defender looked ahead to Friday evenings fixture against Crystal Palace at Rush Green Stadium, where the Hammers will be looking to bounce back from this disappointing defeat.
Like his manager, though, the centre-back recognises that the game against Palace won’t be an easy one.
“We need to go again on Friday, we want to go in with a positive mindset against Crystal Palace.
“I think it will be a really good game, it’s a London derby, which is always a feisty contest,” he added.