By George Overhill
A full back four of Harrison Ashby, Jamal Baptiste, Ajibola Alese and Emmanuel Longelo, plus attacker Sonny Perkins could not prevent Mislav Orsic’s third-minute stunner but gave a strong showing before Freddie Potts and Keenan Appiah-Forson came on late.
“(They did) fantastically well, because a back four of young players on this big stage, all together with no senior player to talk, be that calming influence, and to go 1-0 down after three minutes on that stage,” said Joe Cole on BT Sport ESPN after the match.
“It can knock your confidence,” added Carlton.
Reason to be optimistic
Having seen West Ham’s excellent start to the season, with wins over Liverpool, Chelsea, and both Manchester sides, thrown into doubt by the injury crisis, a composed outing for so many academy products at once will have settled some nerves.
And with reported transfer targets such as Nathan Ake and James Tarkowski unlikely to be easy or cheap to acquire in the January transfer window fans will be hoping that the homegrown players will continue to get an opportunity.
An entire crop of youngsters breaking into the first team together can form the building blocks of long-term success for a club, as with Manchester United’s famous Class of 92 and arguably with Chelsea’s current squad.
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