England U20 manager Noel Blake was pleased with the performances of West Ham's trio of youngsters that all played an important part in a 2-0 victory against Italy.

James Tomkins and Freddie Sears both started, with Junior Stanislas joining the fray a second-half substitute. Tomkins was in typically composed mood in a 45 minute run-out, and was responsible for several crucial interceptions when the game was goalless to help keep England in the game. 

"Tomka played very well first half before we took him off as he's in the first team," Blake said. "We were very pleased with him and his heading was immense as were his balls from back to front. He showed a lot of leadership qualities out there."

Sears got a valuable 90 minutes under his belt, playing in a slightly more withdrawn role just off his fellow striker Daniel Sturridge.  It was a task he took to well and, as well as providing the link between midfield and attack, he won the corner from which England took the lead.

"Freddie knows where the little pockets are and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet tonight I felt. He's a clever little player and is quicker than he looks," Blake said.

"[Sears and Sturridge] link up quite well and their movement is quite good. Freddie likes to find the little holes and he picks up quite well, while Danny's an out and out goalscorer."

Stanislas replaced Chelsea's Scott Sinclair on the left of midfield and immediately set about testing the Italians with a series of dribbles and crosses. One particularly dangerous ball in found Sturridge in acres of space, but he could only direct his header wide of the post. Blake was pleased with the winger's contribution, saying: "Junior came on for the second-half at a time when we needed to quicken up a little bit and Junior added a new dimension to the team.

"He can play centrally or he can play wide and give that little bit of spark. He got into good scoring positions but only last ditch tackle stopped him scoring. We're pleased with all three of them."

All three of the Hammers' representatives are now fully-fledged members of the West Ham first-team squad after Stanislas made his debut against West Bromwich Albion last month. Blake admits that he has already noticed the benefits of the youngsters training and playing with seasoned internationals.

"When they're in and around the first team it's a big boost for them and their game has to rise. You can see the guys have been around the first team and it showed up against Italy."