Young Reece told” Now gain the respect”


CS_69014440Reece Oxford – at 16 years and 198 days old – becomes the youngest ever hammer to make his debut in a club first team shirt against Lusiantos tonight and has been told: “We are now going to find out whether he’s as good as we think he is.”

Boss for the night Terry Westley said: “We’ll find out whether Reece can handle the pressure of playing in a big situation, whether he’s as good as we think he is.

“We won’t find that out sitting on the bench or in the stand. He has that opportunity. He’s now got to gain the respect. The talking can stop and he can show people what he’s about.

“If he’s going to be one of the best ever [academy products], he’s got some way to go. James Tomkins isn’t bad, Lampard, Cole and the rest weren’t bad.

“[Reece] has got a bit to do but where he is at this age – England U17s captain – he’s done what he needed to do. He’s got to take that into senior football. Questions will be answered.”

Westley claimed the decision for him to take charge of the team for the early Europa League game was made during last season – before Bilic’s arrival and regardless of the identity of Sam Allardyce’s successor.

He added: “You find you’re in Europe, so someone has to put a plan together. The club have been very proactive: ‘Who’s involved? What players come back early?’

‘We knew what the group would consist of. It was to make a smooth transition for when the manager was put in place.

‘We’ve got 35,000 who can’t wait to see the team, young and old. Slaven knows the players. He’s been in Cork. It’s very much his first game.”

Irons team: Randolph; O’Brien, Tomkins, Burke, Page, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Poyet, Oxford, Zarate, Sakho.

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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!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Dainon17 says:

    He’s starting in midfield according to Westley in a 4-4-2 .. I have always heard about him being a center back who can play right back. Seams like they think he can play just about anywhere lol.

    I hope he plays a blinder COYI

  • Si Hammer says:

    Go out & do the business my son.Show everyone what you got.Good luck.

  • Lt. Quickdrawovic 1st Slavalry C&H Regt says:

    I hope he’s going to be a star,someone we can keep hold of if that’s the case.
    Westley is right enough jaw jaw it’s time for war war lol

  • bubs says:

    I would have liked to see him play right back as that is a weak spot for us and he has played there,
    When Johnson was his age he was also supposed to be a CH but he eventually became a right back,we all know what O,Brien can do ( leave would be good )

  • Lt. Quickdrawovic 1st Slavalry C&H Regt says:

    No better game to experiment with him as RB

  • bubs says:

    Players make mistakes at all ages so he should be given the chance at right back,
    We could have the player that stops us lining the Gooners pockets,
    For the same money we can buy Corluka instead of one year of Jenkinsos which would give us cover for CH as well,
    And bring in another right back Freebie or buy one

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