West Ham new boy Morrison may have limited chances to show what he can do

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says that it would be tough to throw youngster Ravel Morrison into the pressure cooker of the Championship promotion race

There were just eight minutes to go when the moment many West Ham fans had been awaiting with baited breath finally arrived.

The board was raised and Jack Collison was withdrawn to make way for Ravel Morrison’s first appearance on the Championship stage.

The 19-year-old midfielder had already made two Carling Cup substitute appearances for Manchester United this season, coming on in the 3-0 win at Aldershot and the 2-1 Old Trafford defeat by Crystal Palace.

But this was a much more important occasion for the controversial youngster who was touted as a hot prospect, but tried the patience of Alex Ferguson and his staff one time too many.

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So how did the �650,000 signing fair on his debut in claret and blue?

It is fair to say that it was very difficult to tell.

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He was booed by the Manchester United hating section of the Leeds fans and his first touch saw his control let him down and the ball go out of play.

But he is a powerfully built youngster and not afraid to get stuck into a tackle.

Manager Sam Allardyce was remaining guarded about the prospects for Morrison for the rest of the season.

“We have seen him score a couple of goals behind closed doors against Brentford in midweek, he played well and so you want to see if he can reproduce that ability whenever he can get the opportunity,” said the manager.

“The difficult is we are going for automatic promotion and he is a lad untried in terms of experience.

“We know he has got the ability and he has now had a little taste, and we are hoping that he will come on and be that little spark to provide one pass or score a goal.

“He didn’t get the chance to get into the game too much, but at least he has got his foot over the line and experienced a little bit of first-team football.

“That may be crucial to us on the run-in to the season if he can get the quality that he certainly shows and that we all know about in a very highly competitive league.

When Alan Curbishley became West Ham boss, he said that Mark Noble was unlikely to be used much.

Noble became one of the pivotal players in the ‘Great Escape’ that season, so maybe Morrison can provide something similar at the other end of the table this time round.

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