West Ham United’s Javier Hernández, who has been struggling with glandular fever this season, scored on his return to football in a 3-1 loss against QPR behind closed doors.
With club football on hold as international football takes centre stage, the players who remained at Rush Green played a practice match against Steve McClaren’s QPR side.
Football.London report that first team players including Michail Antonio, Aaron Creswell, Lucas Perez and Hernández took part for the first 60 minutes of the match, before making way for some of West Ham’s Under-23 squad.
Despite Manuel Pellegrini seeing his makeshift side lose 3-1 to QPR – who currently sit 18th in the Championship table – one positive to take from the game was that former Manchester United striker Hernández scored on his return to the side.
The striker has missed West Ham’s last five games in all competitions, as he has battled with a bout of glandular fever.
With Marko Arnautović recently revealing that he is struggling with a knee injury, the return of Chicharito will be welcomed with open arms by Manuel Pellegrini.
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However, the likes of Hernandez and other first team players were not originally intended to be used. The fixture against QPR was initially scheduled to be an Under-23s friendly against Manchester United, allowing for both sides to test out their academy products.
However, the Red Devils pulled out of the fixture, with QPR stepping in to take their place.
The Under-23 players who took part in the game included Grady Diangana, Joe Powell and Moses Makasi while Reece Oxford, who has struggled to perform since his breakthrough into the West Ham senior squad, also played the final half an hour.
The friendly also provided an opportunity to blood some of the youngest players in the West Ham academy, as Under-18s Emmanuel Longelo and Sean Adarkwa were given run-outs.
The Hammers return to Premier League action on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Pellegrini’s side have started the season poorly despite spending big over the summer transfer window.
After demolishing Manchester United 3-1, West Ham crashed back down to earth with a Friday night defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium.