Academy goalkeeping coach Jerome John was delighted to see the Development Squad keep it clean against Manchester United, as West Ham United defended valiantly to earn a valuable Barclays Under-21 Premier League goalless draw.

Returning to action just three days after a fruitless trip to Telford, where they lost 2-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Hammers had the better of it early on at the Boleyn Ground, as Sebastian Lletget and Wellington Paulista both went close to breaking the deadlock.

Though Tuesday's exploits would take their toll in the latter stages, Nick Haycock's resilient youngsters held firm to record an impressive third clean sheet in only six Elite Group outings.

John - known as 'JJ' by everyone at the club - was suitably impressed with the shutout, as stopper Jake Larkins was only once called upon to keep the visitors at bay.

"The boys in front of Jake have done very well," he told West Ham TV. "He just had the one save to make and he did that well. Overall, the defensive display, including Jake, was very good.

"It was a very good game. I thought we played better in the first half, than we did in the second. Because of the game on Tuesday, the boys were a little bit tired for the last 15 minutes. But both sides had their chances and I thought we deserved at least a point.

"I think a few of the players learned a few lessons on Tuesday [against Wolverhampton Wanderers] and dealt with the various situations that arose on Friday night. They've done well in front of their home crowd."

Goalkeeping coach John was also glad to see Blair Turgott and Paul McCallum back in claret and blue, after their respective loan spells at Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon. Though neither were able to conjure up a winner on this occasion, JJ expects them to have a significant say in the Hammers' fortunes from hereon in.

"It's good to have them back," he continued. "Blair did very well, considering he hasn't played 90 minutes in over five or six weeks, he's just had 15 or 20 minute spells. So he did great just to last the game. With Paul coming back from his adventure at AFC Wimbledon, it was good to get him back on the pitch as well and hopefully they'll contribute even more to the games coming up."

After an early-season postponement, West Ham's next trip sees them travel to Altrincham on Wednesday to take on Manchester United for a second time in just six days. It's a trip, however, that holds little fear for JJ, who sees no reason why West Ham cannot go there and claim all three points this time.

"Manchester United have quite a few players, so they can rotate and freshen things up, whereas generally, we will be looking to use the same group.

"The pitch at Altrincham doesn't look in the best condition at the moment. Obviously, not like Upton Park, so it's going to be a different game. But, having played at Rush Green, we're used to the smaller non-league grounds. So hopefully we shouldn't need to adjust too much. Hopefully we can go one better on Wednesday and can get a win.

"We're still pushing to try and get second or third place, because Tottenham seem to be running away with it at the moment. But with our squad, our very young squad, they're doing very well, and the players are responding well."

West Bromwich Albion