West Ham academy manager Terry Westley denied that new boss Slaven Bilic had shown a lack of respect by choosing to watch his side’s commanding victory over FC Lusitans in the Europa League first qualifying round from the Upton Park stands last night.
The scores were goalless heading towards half-time before a quick-fire double from Senegal striker Diafra Sakho rewarded the home side’s dominance, while defender James Tomkins added a third with a header in the second period.
New manager Slaven Bilic was introduced to the 35,000 capacity Boleyn Ground crowd ahead of kick-off before handing the reins to Westley, who also confirmed that the Croatian is unlikely to make the trip to Andorra for Thursday’s second leg.
“The manager was very respectful of the game,” said Westley.
“We presented two of our players [Reece Oxford and Lewis Page] with their debuts and they were told ‘wear these shirts with pride, you’re following some outstanding players. It’s time to have your legacy’. The manager did that speech.”
When asked if Bilic would be present for the return fixture in Andorra, Westley added: “I wouldn’t have thought so with all he has going on.”
Youth graduate Reece Oxford was handed his West Ham debut in a match played just 39 days after the end of the 2014-15 Premier League season, and became the club’s youngest ever first-team player at 16 years and 198 days.
Sakho, who scored 12 goals last term, opened the scoring in the 40th minute by heading home a cross from Argentine Mauro Zarate, and then converted Morgan Amalfitano’s cut-back on the stroke of half-time.
A headed goal from centre-half Tomkins completed the scoring shortly before the hour mark, as West Ham were barely troubled by the Andorran minnows.