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West Ham’s Morrison shows that he has finally come of age

PUBLISHED: 15:56 28 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:18 28 August 2013

Ravel Morrison celebrates scoring Hammers second goal against Cheltenham Town

Ravel Morrison celebrates scoring Hammers second goal against Cheltenham Town

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ravel speaks after starring in West Ham’s the Capital One Cup show

West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison was the star of the show as the Hammers knocked Cheltenham Town out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night to show that he is now knocking on the manager’s door for a Premier League start.

The 20-year-old former Manchester United player made his first start in claret and blue and scored his first goal and he admitted that he has finally learned from his past mistakes.

West Ham assistant boss Neil McDonald was full of praise for the change that the club have seen in Morrison this season.

“As a young kid coming from Manchester United, thinking he could walk straight into the team, it was a big shock that he didn’t,” explained McDonald after Tuesday’s 2-1 victory.

“We have got some very good players here and he had to earn their respect. He didn’t do that early on and so we sent him out to Birmingham.

“I think the penny has dropped there. He has played some games and he has scored some goals and he has come back a much healthier, hungrier and wiser young man.”

Morrison, who also made an excellent cameo appearance in Saturday’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Newcastle United, admitted that he has learned an awful lot since his £650,000 move from Old Trafford.

“I learned everything at Birmingham – the whole game,” he admitted. “When I was here last time, I messed about a lot, I wasn’t fully professional.

“I went to Birmingham and I got some games and some experience. Lee Clark helped me a lot, showed me where I needed to improve my game and I have come back here and I think I have been shown the way ahead.”

McDonald highlighted the ability of Morrison, but also warned fans that they should not expect him to suddenly be a regular in the first team.

“He is not a bad player is he?” said McDonald. “He has got lots of composure, he can see a final pass and he can certainly make the 
final pass as well as score goals and that is a knock on the door which the manager wants.

“To get that place in the team, he has to keep the ball, keep on scoring of course and his all-round performance has to be 
better than the players that are in the team at the moment.”

Morrison certainly showed his footballing brain against Cheltenham and complemented it with a superb goal just after half time.

“I was going to shoot with my left foot first, but I could see I could get more space, so then luckily the space opened up for me, so I thought ‘bang it!” explained Morrison, who was at the heart of much that was good about the Hammers on Tuesday night.

“When I first came in I was very nervous, but I settled in and the players have helped me.

“They were all looking after me, helping me and pushing me forward and I am going to try and carry on with what I did in pre-season.”

What he did in pre-season was score goals. Tuesday’s strike made it seven goals so far and goals from midfield is exactly what the Hammers need.

“Last time I had a scoring run like this was for Manchester United in the Youth Cup,” he said.

“I didn’t score a lot of goals for Birmingham because I played very central in the team, but now I am playing more of a free role and you know that someone is sat behind you to give you more confidence to go forward.”

You could certainly see that and what remains for Morrison is to finally break into that Premier League line-up.

“I need to improve my strength, build up a little bit more muscle,” he said.

“But I am really enjoying my football. Hopefully I can get a Premier League start soon, but let’s wait and see.”


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