Under-18s manager Steve Potts felt his team deserved the points after beating Norwich City U18 2-0 at Little Heath on Saturday morning.

The Hammers were made to work hard for the opening 70 minutes, before young Portuguese striker Marcio Martins capped a rare start with a well taken goal. Kieran Bywater then grabbed his tenth goal in as many games from the penalty spot in the final minute.

After a true footballing battle against Tottenham Hotspur the previous weekend, Potts knew that Norwich would test his squad in a completely different way and his team stepped up to the challenge and got their rewards.

"I said to the boys straight after the game that Norwich bought a completely different test for us compared to the Tottenham game, but they did really well," said Potts. "Norwich had a game plan and they were solid, which made it hard for us.

"At Tottenham, it was a free-flowing game that was all about the football, whereas against Norwich we had to change and mix up our game a little. I think we were definitely the better team and deserved to win."

Going into the match, the Hammers boss made several changes to the winning starting eleven against Tottenham in an attempt to rotate the team.

"I just wanted to give some of the other boys a chance and rotate the team," he continued. "Marcio came into the side and worked really hard up front and deservedly capped it with a well taken goal so that was very pleasing.

"Ben Marlow has not long been back from injury and after playing a whole game at Spurs and a full week's training, he was a little stiff so we decided to take him off late in the second half, put Josh Cullen in Ben's position and throw Jerry [Amoo] in. Jerry has the pace to cause problems and did really well to win the penalty at the end."

Saturday's result took the Hammers' recent winning streak to four games, but Potts isn't getting carried away and wants his team to continue concentrating on their performances to give Development Squad manager Nick Haycock selection problems.

"I don't think our recent run changes our targets for the season at all because I just want the lads to concentrate on their performance every single week," he added.

"Throughout this season, I have been impressed with the team so they just have to keep it going and the results will continue to come.

"Nick has got the Development Squad going really well this season and they are raising the bar for us at the moment, so I am hoping to get some of my boys into that squad."

Back when Potts was a player at West Ham, he recalled seeing a young Mark Noble performing at a high standard in the Hammers Academy and believes his players need to look no further that the current first teamer for inspiration.

"If the boys don't want to push on to the next level then there isn't much point them trying to make a career out of football. The Development Squad is the next step that they should be looking to then even onto the first team after that.

"I still remember seeing Mark Noble here at the same age as these lads are now and I think there is no greater example for the boys to follow than what Mark has done.

"They have all made their starts, so now they have to be looking to push on."

One player looking to take that next step is Under-18s captain Kieran Bywater, who netted an injury time spot kick on Saturday to take his tally to ten goals for the season.

He is delighted with the way the team is performing, and as an individual, he hopes to earn his space in Nick Haycock's Development Squad by the end of the season.

He explained: "Everyone worked hard and the whole team is really happy to win our fourth game in a row. I'm really happy to get my tenth goal for the season, but goals are a bonus and everyone played really well and deserved to win.

"Obviously everyone is aiming to play well as a squad every week in the Under-18s, but as an individual, you're always looking to improve and push towards the Development Squad.

"Last season I played a few games in the Development Squad and that's where I'm looking at getting to again. Hopefully by the end of the season I may feature a few times for them."

The Under-18s travel north for their next Barclays U18 Premier League fixture when they face Middlesbrough on Saturday 26 October.

Away kit