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Praise for Younes

Chris Ramsey was full of praise for Younes Kaboul after the defender’s return from injury as our Under-21s drew 1-1 at West Ham on Monday night.

Younes has been sidelined since August but looked strong as ever in a 61-minute stint at Upton Park against a lively attacking duo of Wellington Paulista and Modibo Maiga.

“He did well, had no problems really,” said Chris, our Senior Professional Phase Coach, who revealed that Younes was initially down to only play the first half.

“He wanted to play an extra 15 minutes as well, showed a fantastic attitude and wanted to push his fitness a little more. Tom Carroll showed a great attitude as well, as he always does.

“All the senior professionals have set an example when they’ve come into the squad.”

West Ham took the lead through Paulista’s header on 15 minutes and the same player had another header cleared off the line by Carroll, who then turned provider for our equaliser, finished well by Kenny McEvoy.

West Ham had chances in the opening exchanges of the second half but we bossed the final half-hour and it took two fine saves from Jake Larkins to deny Nabil Bentaleb and Cristian Ceballos.

“I thought we started well but then we got drawn into a scrappy period of the game where they had some chances that they didn’t take,” added Chris.

“Towards the end of the first half we settled down again and started playing the football that we normally play. I thought we played well in the second half and although they had some chances, we were well on top.

“Overall, when you look at the fact that a player like Younes returns to action after eight months out and the experience the younger lads gain playing alongside him, it’s another great exercise for us.”

The draw stretched the team's record to eight wins, two draw and a defeat in the second phase of the Barclays U21 Premier League and we top the Elite Group by nine points from Liverpool.