Nick Haycock has challenged his Development Squad youngsters to put on a show at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening.

West Ham United travel to AFC Telford United's New Bucks Head stadium top of the Barclays U21 Premier League table, having won all three away matches they have played so far.

While a fourth straight victory on their travels would be welcomed by Haycock, the U21s manager is also keen that his charges impress the dozens of Football League scouts who will be present at the game.

Haycock believes the young professionals will benefit from loan spells, playing first-team football in more physically and psychologically demanding surroundings.

"A lot of Football League scouts watch our games," said Haycock. "As individuals, the players have to convince a manager to put them in their team in the league - that's the situation they are in.

"When they go out on loan, we can feed more of Steve Potts' U18s into our team. We want to give everybody the correct level of challenge. If results start to go slightly astray, that's not the concern, because we know the player development route is of the highest possible standard.

"The loan situation is an interesting one because we want to know they will play, how they will be trained and what sort of sports science back-up they will have. We have a strategy and have certain expectations of how they will look after our players, as we did with Ravel Morrison at Birmingham City."

Haycock is likely to be referring to players such as George Moncur, Callum Driver, Sebastian Lletget, Paul McCallum, Elliot Lee, Dan Potts, Pelly Ruddock, Blair Turgott and Matthias Fanimo, all of whom have impressed at U21 level this term.

Moncur, Driver, McCallum, Potts and Turgott have all enjoyed previous loan spells with Football League clubs, and the U21s manager clearly believes they could benefit from more senior action in the future.

"Talking to Sam Allardyce and the backroom team, we think of the U21 league as a good step towards the Premier League, but they've got to be able to show they can cope against men," said Haycock. "In the U21s league, you could be playing exclusively against 18 to 20-year-olds, if not younger, as they can only play three first-team players there."

During the recent international break, the Hammers took on Conference National sides Luton Town and Cambridge United, giving the young professionals welcome experience of playing against senior players.

"For us here, we feel playing against Football League or top non-league opposition gives us a better judge of whether boys can cope playing in the league against men," Haycock continued. "That is the whole purpose of those games.

"Yes, we sit proudly top of the league and will try to win every game, but for me this is even more important than the league programme because it's a test in a stadium in front of a decent crowd and we'll see if the boys have what we're looking for. We've got to show Sam these boys can cope playing against senior opposition."

Elsewhere, the Hammers' second string are also set to be bolstered by the involvement of senior frontmen Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric, as the strike duo continue toward full fitness.  

Kick-off at the New Bucks Head on Monday is at 7pm. If you cannot make it along in person, whufc.com and @whufc_official will have live text updates.