By Alex Beard

28th Feb, 2020 | 3:02pm

Phillips wowed by impact of 'tenacious' West Ham youngster

One of the most fascinating aspects of West Ham United’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Monday night was the team selection from manager David Moyes.

It’s safe to say that it was a mixed bag from the Scot in terms of the decisions he made. Some worked brilliantly, others fell flat on their face.

The decision to ditch the five-man defence that flopped against Manchester City the previous work was a good call.

But his continued reluctance to start either January signing Jarrod Bowen or in-form playmaker Pablo Fornals remains baffling.

Something that undoubtedly worked out, though, was his decision to start teenager Jeremy Ngakia at right back ahead of veteran Pablo Zabaleta.

Former England international Kevin Phillips was left wowed by the performance of the 19-year-old in the Hammers’ defeat at Anfield.

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“He did well. Settled into the game really well,” he told Football Insider. “He looks tenacious, quick, aggressive and not many people got past him and he dealt with [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino and [Mohamed] Salah really well.

“He might be the bright spark that the defence needs that will help them stop conceding goals. Of course, they conceded three the other night but it did not really warrant those goals. Two mistakes from the goalkeeper. You cannot legislate for that. The defenders coped really well, defended well and he was one of their standout players.

“His performance was a big positive and there were a lot of positives to come from the game the other night.”

Can Ngakia nail down that right back spot now?

He very well could. The first choice at the position, Ryan Fredericks, is going to be out injured for a while.

That gives Ngakia the opportunity to press his case, provided he receives enough first team football from Moyes.

There’s no reason why he shouldn’t, though, because he already looks more solid defensively than both Fredericks and Zabaleta.

A year ago it seemed that Ben Johnson was the youngster destined to come through and take the right back spot, but now it looks like it might just be Ngakia.

In other West Ham news, a former Hammers midfielder has urged the supporters to end their protests against the board.