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2013-10-25T11:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T23:12:04

U18 duo ready for Teesside trip

West Ham United make the long journey up to Middlesbrough this weekend looking to extend their Barclays U18 Premier League winning run to five games.

Steve Potts' side have won four consecutive games to shake off a slow start to the season which saw them win just once in their opening six matches.

Ten goals in ten games from Kieran Bywater have played a major role in reversing the team's fortunes and the midfielder cannot quite believe his rich vein of scoring form.

Bywater told West Ham TV: "I would have taken the ten goals at the start of the season for the whole season!

"Obviously I have to keep working hard and keep helping the team. The goals aren't just all my own work obviously all the other players have been setting up goals.

"I've just been fortunate enough to get a few good goals myself."

While the captain's run of six goals in his last four games has stolen the headlines other players in the squad have received recognition of a different kind.

Right-back Kyle Knoyle represented England U18s earlier this month when he played the full 90 minutes of a 4-0 friendly win over Hungary.

Knoyle was joined in the squad by Hammers centre-back Reece Burke and he was justifiably pleased with his selection.

"It was an honour to represent England and hopefully I can get some more caps. The experience itself was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

With both players seemingly thriving under the guidance of Steve Potts, Mark Phillips and Tony Carr, the team is going from strength to strength.

While four wins on the bounce have kick-started their season, both players feel as though they were not getting the results their performances deserved during their first few games.

"We lost 1-0 to Sunderland and we played some great football and should have come away with a result" explained Knoyle.

"From there we've kept going from the Liverpool game [which we won 5-0] and just kept cracking on. There's a great atmosphere at the moment and everyone's really pleased.

"We thought we should be getting the results but now that they've been coming we just need to crack on from here and keep the atmosphere as it is."

Bywater echoed the thoughts of his team-mate and is hopeful the team will return to east London with three points from their trip to Teesside.

He said: "We were unfortunate with some of the games at the beginning of the season.

"The performances were there but maybe it was just the finishing or a little bit of class missing that we didn't quite have but it's clicked in recent weeks.

"We've got four wins on the bounce and hopefully we can make it five on the weekend."

*West Ham TV will show exclusive highlights from Saturday's Barclays U18 Premier League trip to Middlesbrough on Monday.

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