Karren Brady highlights main positive from West Ham's failed Europa League campaign

Karren Brady

West Ham were dumped out of the Europa League on Thursday.

West Ham vice-chairwoman Karren Brady has told The Sun that there are positives to take from the club's elimination from the Europa League.

The Hammers were 2-0 up in the first leg of their qualifying tie against Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu, but managed to throw that away and draw 2-2 at Upton Park.

That left Slaven Bilic with an uphill task in the second leg, and with a huge game against Arsenal tomorrow, the West Ham boss chose to rest his first team players and go with a second string side full of youngsters and fringe players.

That led to an eventual loss to Astra, meaning West Ham are out of the competition before the group stage has even begun - a major disappointment to many supporters.

However, vice-chairwoman Brady has told The Sun that Bilic has been able to evaluate a number of different players during those Europa League games, handing most of his squad the opportunity to play in competitive action rather than pre-season friendlies.

"Our European adventure ended last night like one of those ill-fated explorations — losing players, temporarily our new manager and, finally, our way in a small Romanian city," said Brady. "Still, it has given Slaven Bilic a chance to evaluate a number of players and, to be realistic, an extended Europa League campaign has not always been an advantage."

"Plus, we have vital business to be done, starting against Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side tomorrow. I wish Slaven well and hope someone up there relents on injuries to our top forward," she added.

Young players like Reece Oxford and Martin Samuelsen have featured over the course of the Europa League campaign, with Bilic no doubt impressed with their displays.

If those two players can become first team players over the next 12 months, then fans may look back at their European experiences as vital for their development.

Of course, Brady can't be too vocal about her disappointment given the recent appointment of Bilic, but deep down she must have wanted a longer run in the competition - even if there are positives to take.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch