Nick Haycock was pleased to progress to the next round of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Cup after his Development Squad overcame a stubborn Bristol City side 2-1 at Ashton Gate on Monday.
A first goal of the season from midfielder Danny Whitehead and one from Elliot Lee propelled the Hammers into the last 16 of the competition where they will face the winners of Cardiff City v Chelsea.
The Development Squad did, however, have 16-year-old goalkeeper Sam Howes to thank after the stopper made two crucial late saves to preserve their lead after Wes Burns pulled one back from the penalty spot.
Read the match report from Ashton Gate here
Haycock was happy with his side's display but felt they could have been more comfortable than they were.
He told West Ham TV: "I thought we were the dominant team and I said at half-time that I thought we were the more likely to score.
"The shape of the team was better than the other night and they responded to me in the warm-up and at half-time because I was a little bit disappointed because I didn't see the normal spirit in the team the other night but we saw it again today.
"At 2-0, control the game and go and get a third, that's how I saw it and that's how the boys saw it. They're disappointed in there with the last 20 minutes.
"It came off a mistake from one player; he'll learn from that and obviously it gave them the lift they needed at that stage. Without that I think the game was a comfortable victory and a professional performance."
The young Hammers had just two days to prepare for this fixture after they played out a 2-2 draw with Leicester City at Rush Green on Friday night but a team which had just one change showed little sign of fatigue.
Kieran Bywater replaced George Moncur in the only change with the midfielder having impressed for Steve Potts' Under-18s so far this season, scoring 13 goals in 15 appearances.
Haycock is happy to introduce younger players into his squad if it means they are getting suitably challenged.
"I always said at the start of the season that the challenge for us is to try and win leagues and cups with the team we put out each week.
"I've always wanted players going out on loan, I've always wanted players to be with the first team rather than with me and I've always wanted the Under-18s to come into this squad.
"Sam Howes is an Under-16 and he deserves to be in between the posts. We had an average age of 19 out in an Under-21 game and I think that's what it should be.
"The physical side of it is a bit more difficult, Kieran Bywater came in today from the youth team and we had Djair on the bench and they're always pushing. Jamie Harney's come in and in the last two games has played fairly well."
Whilst Chelsea are the Hammers most likely opponents in the next round, Haycock believes the squad will be confident of winning against whoever they face.
"We go into competitions to win them. Whoever players play for me and Steve [Potts] we try and win every game. In terms of priorities we'll see how far we can go."