West Ham’s Carr delighted with Youth Cup triumph
Hammers Academy director Tony Carr praised his side after their thumping 4-1 win over Brighton
Hammers Academy director Tony Carr has seen it all before, but though he would never say it, he must be quietly confident that his under-18 team can make a real splash in the FA Youth Cup this season after they booked their place in round five on Wednesday night.
West Ham brushed aside the challenge of Brighton at Upton Park with a cruising 4-1 victory thanks to a double from Rob Hall and further strikes from Elliot Lee and Matthias Fanimo.
That booked a trip to Chelsea in the last 16, but Carr refused to get carried away.
“Like everything else you can only take one round a time,” said the Academy boss. “We have got Chelsea away in the next round and that will be a very tough game.
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“But on the night we will prepare diligently, we will work out how we are going to play and who needs to play and hopefully we can go to the next round.”
Brighton certainly felt the power of this West Ham team on the night and they were never in the game from the moment Elliott Lee’s free kick gave the Hammers an early lead.
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“I thought we deserved to win the game,” he said. “Our game plan was spot on. Myself and Nick Haycock looked at Brighton and we felt that we could give them problems in certain areas and I thought we did that.
“I think that 4-1 was a fair reflection of the game.”
West Ham were boosted by the appearance of Dan Potts and Rob Hall, both of whom played for the senior side at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, and Carr was delighted to see the youngsters back with him.
“Obviously they have pushed on from youth football, but while we are still in the competition, we will use those players, first team permitting of course,” said Carr.
“It is a big bonus for us and the most important thing for me is they both told me they wanted to play. You only get one or two opportunities in this competition and after this year they can’t play again.”
Hall was the star of the show with a goal in each half and he could easily have had a hat-trick as he showed the form that has impressed West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who was a spectator on the night.
“He had a good game tonight and obviously he is a quality player,” said Carr. “He just lacks that little bit of strength at the moment to play in the first team on a regular basis, but he will be there or thereabouts in the first team now for the rest of the season I think.”
As well as Allardyce, the likes of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Joey O’Brien, James Tomkins and Jack Collison were all at the match and Carr certainly appreciated their presence.
“It was great,” he said. “There were five or six first-team players who all came into the dressing room.
“They even came in at half time and chewed them up a bit, which was good, but in the right way.”
Next opponents Chelsea were beaten by West Ham 3-2 in a league clash just last Saturday, but Carr is too shrewd to make predictions about any possible outcome in the next game.
“I wouldn’t make those predictions because like all cup competitions sometimes it is luck of the draw and sometimes even luck on the night so we are in the next round and we will be working hard to get through the next one after that.”
Wise words from someone who knows, but deep down, he must think that this team has a real chance.