George Moncur has backed West Ham United's Development Squad to mount a late run to reach the Barclays U21 Premier League Play-Offs.

The Hammers travel to Southampton in the Elite Group on Monday evening knowing victory would take them to within two points of the third-place Saints with three matches remaining.

The top-three Elite Group finishers and Tier One champions will qualify for the Play-Offs, with two-legged semi-finals and a final being held to determine the overall Barclays U21 Premier League champions.

Having been edged out 1-0 by Southampton at Rush Green in February and held to a 1-1 draw by leaders Tottenham Hotspur last time out, Moncur is determined to return to winning ways at Eastleigh FC.


"Last time we played them we didn't get the result we wanted, but I think in recent games we have been playing well and we were unlucky not to get more than a draw against Tottenham last Monday night," said the midfielder. "Hopefully this time we can get three points.

"I think there are four games left so there are plenty of points up for grabs. If we continue to play well and get the results we need, there is no reason why we wouldn't be in the top three and reach the Play-Offs."

Moncur was a star in West Ham's Group 1 title win before Christmas, but a number of his Development Squad team-mates have since gone out on loan - prolific forwards Paul McCallum and Rob Hall among them.

With players also being called-up for first-team duty and others suffering injuries, the 19-year-old is aware that coach Nick Haycock has had to call upon less-experienced Academy scholars in recent weeks.

"Obviously it is disappointing to lose players, but our squad is very strong and strong enough to get the results and performances that we need to progress to that next level, so it's looking good," said Moncur, who has himself chosen to remain with the Development Squad rather than go out on loan, as he did last season with League 2 side AFC Wimbledon.

"I don't want to sound big-headed, but I think I can play at a better standard than League 2. If there was a chance I could have played in League 1 or the Championship, I might have gone, but the games we are playing in are very competitive anyway so it's good to play here and I'll carry on doing that until the end of the season.

"Getting two years added onto my contract recently did take a bit of the weight off my shoulders but I just try to play and enjoy my football every time I go on the pitch, so nothing changes there."

Kick-off at Eastleigh FC's Silverlake Stadium is at 7pm. For directions, click here.

Wigan Athletic