Allardyce reacts to Burke's 'commanding' debut - but sounds warning to 18-year-old

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

The teenager made his West Ham debut against Queens Park Rangers.

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce was delighted to see Reece Burke show he can produce on a 'one-off basis' and hailed the 'commanding' defender after he made his debut against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, according to the club's official website.

It impressed Allardyce that Burke, just 18, managed to help the Hammers keep a clean sheet against the likes of Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora despite the excitement that could have possibly distracted him heading into the game.

Indeed, Big Sam said: “We had a young man in Reece Burke making his debut and he stood up to Austin and Bobby Zamora and came away with a clean sheet.

“It was a magnificent feeling for him and his family. I could imagine the nerves and excitement they felt about him playing and he played so well and looked calm and commanding at times."

The West Ham head coach, however, sounded a warning to the teenager that he now has to work harder than ever before and is yet to prove that he can produce on a consistent basis for the east London side.

The 60-year-old is keen to see Burke carve out a future for himself at West Ham but feels he needs more than just the 'insight' that this performance brought.

Allardyce explained: “There is a future for him if he works harder than he has ever worked. If you never stop working and practising then you will forge yourself a career in the game.

“He has given us an insight into the fact he can cope with this level on a one-off basis, so now he has to prove he can play regularly at this level.”

Despite avoiding defeat, West Ham's poor form continued at QPR - and yet they remain 10th in the Premier League. For the R's, things are a little different down the bottom... Austin's missed penalty means QPR are now four points off safety - having played a game more than those who sit four ahead.

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