West Ham United's record signing André Ayew has insisted that the Hammers will "learn" from their disappointing 2016/17 campaign, despite finishing their season on a minimal high with the 2-1 win away to Burnley.
Will learn, and prepare for the next one
There was a lot of optimism heading into the campaign for West Ham fans with moving to the London Stadium while looking to maintain the form of the previous campaign, coupled with their major business in the transfer market which saw Ayew make the £20million move from Swansea City in August.
But like the Ghanaian the club's campaign has failed to ever really get off the ground, that included a minor relegation battle towards the end of the campaign with that five-game losing streak bringing serious pressure on both manager Slaven Bilić and his men.
Things did pick up as the Hammers aimed for the chances of landing inside the top-half of the league eventually finishing just outside in 11th on goal difference, the win in Lancashire was the final send-off for what has been a frustrating season to be a Hammers fan and Ayew insisted that the side will learn and prepare for a better 2017/18 season.
“The whole season has been difficult," Ayew stated after Sunday's game. "So we’re happy to end like this."
“We were quite disappointed," the forward admitted. "Because there were games where we definitely could have had more points."
"You take away from it that you need to win your points and take your chances and learn from this season now," Ayew added. "We’ll learn, and prepare for the next one.”
Dream come true
An area that West Ham have thrived in this season has once again been in their youth set-up, with their Under-23 side led by Terry Westley was promoted to Premier League 2 Division One after their play-off victory over Newcastle United.
Westley's side is led by 18-year-old Declan Rice with the last few weeks arguably been the best weeks of his career thus far, with the play-off victory, been crowned Young Hammer of the Year and making his senior debut at Turf Moor.
His appearance was brief coming on as a second-half extra-time substitute for Edmilison Fernandes, but the youth skipper stated as a "dream come true" and also his ambition to continue to work hard to be part of Bilić's thinking.
“Ever since I started kicking a ball, it has always been my ambition [to play in the Premier League]," Rice delightfully stated post-match. "So my dream has come true and I’m delighted."
"I’ve just got to keep focused and keep on a good path," the defender stated. "With the coaches around me and I’m sure I’ll go far."
"You’ve always got to improve and have people talking about you and keep working hard," Rice concluded. "That’s what I’ll continue to do.”