Tony Carr on what everyone needs to remember about West Ham starlet Reece Burke

West Ham Dugout

West Ham United's former academy chief says Reece Burke needs to bulk up physically.

Former West Ham United academy chief Tony Carr explained in an exclusive for the Daily Express where he feels youngster Reece Burke is going to have to improve.

Burke was thrown into the West Ham spotlight earlier this week, after making his debut for the Hammers in a difficult situation against QPR.

He coped well, but Carr feels he’s going to have to work hard physically to develop his natural strength in a very competitive league.

“Reece has always been naturally aggressive in his play but the key is that he has to get stronger now,” he said.

“He’ll have to develop his upper body into a man’s body. Remember he is still developing.”

One of the main issues relating to Burke’s inclusion in the West Ham first team is that he’s a target.

He’s a target because of his inexperience and because of the fact he is underdeveloped in a physical sense.

Some strikers may choose to drift onto his side of the back four because they believe that’s an advantage that can cash in on, putting the teenager under big pressure.

However, last weekend he had to deal with the experience of Bobby Zamora and the presence of Charlie Austin and he did a very good job during the game.

Manager Sam Allardyce is not naïve when it comes to developing younger players and he’s likely to have told Burke about the need to hit the gym frequently and bulk up.

If his core strength becomes one of his main assets, he seems to have the technique, awareness and the pace to be part of West Ham’s back four for several seasons.

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