Exeter City defender Dara O’Shea says the Grecians can expect a different sort of test when they come up against West Ham United’s under-21 side on Tuesday evening in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Irishman, who has faced the young Hammers previously whilst playing for parent club West Bromwich Albion, believes the London side will provide tough opposition as the Grecians look to continue their good start to the competition.
Ahead of the match, he said: “We’re expecting a tough game. They’ll be good technically, I think I’ve played against them a few times for West Brom, so I know they’ll move the ball well and they’ll look to get it down and play it wide.
“It will be a good, tough, test for us and I think it will be something a little bit different away from League Two. They will want to bounce back (following defeat to Bristol Rovers in their first group game,) and they’ll be hungry for it.”
Dara has made a couple of appearances since joining the club on loan from the Baggies, and he has revealed how well he has taken to life at City as he looks to force himself into Matt Taylor’s side in all competitions.
“It’s good, it’s enjoyable, the lads are doing well and there is a good mood in training. I’d say it’s going well so far.
“I came here to get around the first team environment again which is better than being in an academy. You get the best of both worlds here, it’s good.”
“Matt (Taylor) has helped me a lot, he takes me for one-to-one sessions which is good and I’m picking different bits up from the game he is trying to teach me.”
Dara’s appearances have come in the Carabao Cup against Fulham before playing against Yeovil Town in the first match of the Grecians’ Checkatrade Trophy campaign. Both were matches he felt he can take a lot from.
“It was unbelievable to make my debut there (at Craven Cottage),” said Dara. “It was a tough game and it gave me a little insight into what things could be like in the future if I keep working hard."
Dara impressed for the Grecians against Fulham in the Carabao Cup
The central defender could well feature for the Grecians on Tuesday night as Matt Taylor looks to ensure every member of his first team squad is fresh and ready to go. And Dara believes the Checkatrade Trophy could prove a useful competition for the Grecians this season.
“We can see the depth in the squad, we can rest players in these games and bring others in. This tournament is good for the squad and the league as well.
With both of his City appearances coming away from home, Dara explained how excited he is to play in front of the City supporters.
He continued: “I haven’t got to play there (at St James Park) yet so I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the fans. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to because I’ve been sitting on the bench for a few games and I’m itching to get out and play. They were unbelievable at Fulham, I don’t think they stopped singing, they were very good!”