Going out of the FA Cup is always disappointing, particularly when there's not much to play for in the league. Particularly when we've failed to beat West Ham in four tries. Particularly when, in failing to win, we went nearly 400 minutes without scoring from open play. But that's the past, and this post is about the future!
Besides the obvious positive development of not playing additional matches, Kevin Stewart was one of several youngsters to impress against West Ham. After the match, he spoke with the club's official website:
There are a lot of positives to take from the FA Cup. I've waited a very long time for [this], so it's a bit of relief to finally show what I can do. Most of my career, the games I've played well in have been against younger players and players my age. It's nice to prove to myself I can cope with the Premier League players and do well against them.
It makes it much more competitive and I think I thrive in competitive situations. When a lot of players come back [to fitness], we need to fight more, and I think that's why I'm going to improve.
Of course, Stewart was disappointed with the end result, but with more performances like last night, he could very well be making a case for himself alongside Jordan Rossiter for more senior-level action.
"We're just really disappointed. We could probably have won it today and in the first game, and to concede in the last 30 seconds, we're just really gutted. There are a lot of positives, I think the attitude was really good. If we made mistakes, we won the ball back, we really good reaction, we made chances."
One area in which Stewart needs to improve is his sports cliches. Come on, no "We gave 157%?" He's young, still plenty of time to learn.