Josh Cullen has been enjoying life in the Development Squad of late, and is keen to help the young Hammers pick up three more points when Liverpool visit Rush Green in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Friday night.

The 17-year-old has started the Under-21s' last two league matches and has helped the side record back-to-back wins against Southampton and Reading.

The midfielder started the season in the Club's U18 section but has begun to feature regularly for Nick Haycock's side following his impressive form, and Cullen admits he is enjoying the challenge of playing at an older age group.

He told West Ham TV: "It's definitely played at a higher tempo. It's about going for the full 90 minutes and playing against bigger and stronger players is a test, but one you look forward to every week.

"You know that you're going to have a tough game. If you want to push on and get into the first team, then you've got to be able to stand that in those games, so that's where I want to be playing and that's what the team's done well in the past few games."

Liverpool arrive at Rush Green having won three of their last four matches, although the Reds suffered a 2-1 defeat to Reading in their last outing.

That result left them in second place in the table, one point ahead of the Hammers who occupy fifth, and Cullen is relishing playing against one of the biggest clubs in the country.

"Liverpool are a couple of places above us in the league, but if we win then it will take us up into the play-off places which we want to be in at the end of the season.

"We want to be able to challenge for the league. It's a very important game and if we perform like we have done against Southampton and Reading, keep the quality and intensity high, then we'll be confident that we can get the result.

"I want a challenge. When I play against good players, I look forward to it and I want to make sure that I'm better than them on the night and try to help the team.

"I try to win my battle to help the team win the overall game. I'm looking forward to playing against the good players that Liverpool have."

Cullen is not the only player from the Club's Academy to have featured for the U21s this season, with Kyle Knoyle, Reece Burke, Lewis Page and Kieran Bywater appearing regularly for the Development Squad.

The cultured midfielder believes that his young teammates have done themselves justice every time they have been selected to play for the U21s.

"Kyle and Reece have both featured for the U21s this year and they're away with England at the minute. Lewis has slotted in nicely at left-back and they haven't looked out of place at all, if anything, they've made the squad stronger.

"When we get our chance we've got to take it, if we can take it then the challenge is to stay in the team. We've all done well I think, so now we've got to keep going.

"I think the U18s will keep going, and at U21s we've got players going in there now, we're coming back into form and I don't see why both sides can't achieve success at the end of the season."

Supporters can watch the Development Squad play Southampton on Friday night. Kick-off at Rush Green Stadium is at 7pm, with FREE entry for Season Ticket Holders. Other supporters can gain admission for just £3 Adults and £1 Concessions.