West Ham United's Development Squad have enjoyed a successful pre-season campaign to date and will aim for a third win in a row when they take on Newport County at Little Heath on Saturday.
Kieran Bywater excelled in midfield as Nick Haycock's side defeated Braintree Town in midweek and he is hoping for more of the same when they take on League Two Newport.
"It's been a productive pre-season for us so far," he said. "We've kept a winning mentality with the performances we've put in, and we're getting a style of play that we want for the season ahead.
"It's not about results at this time of year, but of course the wins help with our confidence. We're getting our fitness there too, so it's good."
The U21s' pre-season schedule has taken in tests against senior non-league opposition as well as matches against continental sides, and Bywater thinks the mix can only be of help.
He continued: "Playing a range of different sides is what we need at this stage of our development. Playing Braintree on Tuesday, they were a physical, senior side, and we've mixed it up against teams like Espanyol. That will help us going into the European games we've got this season as well.
"We need to be able to cope with physical players as part of our game, getting on the second balls and being physical ourselves. We gain a lot from playing against men in these games."
"We're looking forward to the competitive games starting and the season getting underway. First and foremost, I have to be pushing to get in the Under-21s side and perform at that level - that's my first aim for this season.
"I scored a lot of goals playing further forward for the U18s last year and I think I've got that in my game to score from midfield, but I've been playing a slightly deeper role this year and learning different kinds of roles within the midfield.
"I've been enjoying it and getting my fitness back for the season."