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2013-09-05T23:50:00 Updated 2015-02-19T00:03:38

Youngsters delight Haycock

Nick Haycock was left delighted after he watched a youthful Development Squad overcome Colchester United 3-0 at the Weston Homes Community stadium on Thursday night.

Several of Steve Potts' Under-18s stepped in to fill the void left by those players selected by Sam Allardyce to join the first team for their friendly against RCD Espanyol.

One of those players, Reece Burke, was on hand to head home the opener with Development Squad regulars Dylan Tombides and Danny Whitehead rounding off the scoring on a successful evening.

Haycock was thrilled with the contribution of the youngsters but he reserved special praise for their coach, telling West Ham TV: "I have to applaud Steve Potts and the way he's working with the youth team, because it's like a seamless transition for them because we do the same thing.

"Me and Steve have always said we're a partnership working with two different units of players, not necessarily two different teams.

"It will always be about the players at West Ham and not the teams and I think they showed tonight there are some good young players there."

Those players contributed to a confident and fluent Hammers performance despite the fact the team had never previously played together.

Despite making a step up, Haycock feels the youngsters made the transition look seamless as they earned a hard- fought victory.

He said: "They coped admirably. In any team performance you're hoping to get lots of seven out of tens, one or two eights and the odd nine and I thought there was a whole host of eight out of tens and quite a few nines.

"In particular from the young lads I think Kyle Knoyle at right back, Moses Makasi and Josh Cullen in the middle of the park showed the capabilities and the standards that I'm looking for in the team.

"I thought Jamie Harney, who's played three games in eight days, was rock solid at the back, Reece Burke got a deserved goal. If I'm missing any of them out I don't mean to but looking at it there was a lot of good performances.

The coach was also boosted by the news before kick-off that Pelly Ruddock was selected to start for the senior Hammers in Barcelona.

George Moncur, Matthias Fanimo, Sebastian Lletget, Elliot Lee and Callum Driver also featured against Espanyol and Haycock believes the club is one of the best places to be for young players.

"I got a text before the game to tell me Pelly's starting out in Espanyol and another five or six on the bench out there hoping to get some minutes.

"In view of what Greg Dyke was saying about giving lads an opportunity I don't think that question can be asked at West Ham.

"It's a fantastic club to play football for and if you look at the bigger clubs I'm not sure the opportunities are there like it is at this club."

Haycock handed out some opportunities of his own by giving starts to Blair Turgott and Sean Maguire, who got some valuable minutes under their belts.

The game was also a chance to impress ahead of the Development Squad's next match against Manchester City in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Friday 13 September.

The coach was pleased with the duo: "Blair would have been disappointed that I didn't select him to start against Newcastle but it was just to give a chance to players who'd been chomping at the bit behind the scenes.

"I was pleased with Blair's attitude tonight, I gave him the armband and he showed good leadership qualities.

"Sean's been a bit unlucky since he came to the club because we've got Elliot Lee and Dylan Tombides scoring goals. It's an abundance of talent up front, he just needs a bit of luck to keep him on the grass and I think you can see that he's got something up there that can push other players and that's what I want.

"I want players pushing each other and maybe then we can catch a few of the scouts' eyes and get one or two out on loan because I think I've got players who can cope in the Football League and maybe even the Championship."

Another positive to come out of the game was a goal for Tombides who stepped off the bench and, with his first touch, chipped the ball over the keeper to make it 2-0.

The goal was his second in as many games after he netted against Newcastle on Monday and Haycock believes Tombides is a player with a big future ahead of him.

"You saw the quality of his finish, I was joking with him at the end of the game about the shot he put over the bar but you can see the boys got quality.

"It's more about slowly but surely with Dylan. I know what he's capable of and I see a good career in front of him, we speak every day and he knows what I think of him and I'll do the right thing by him."

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