Leon Learning

Leon Britton says he is enjoying every minute of the season - even though he has yet to break into the first team.

"I've been playing for the reserves and the youth team but things have been going well," he says. "I am training every day at Chadwell Heath with the reserves and the first team so that is going fine.

"We have got a good squad together now especially with players like Don Hutchison coming to the club.

"And you learn a lot from people like Paolo Di Canio and Trevor Sinclair because they talk to you a lot as well - you don't just learn from playing with them.

"It is nice when they take time out to speak to you and say 'you should do this' to make you a better player; it gives you confidence.

"They give us good advice which is always worth listening to because they are really good players."

Paolo in particular has been helpful to Leon, who says: "Paolo is a fitness fanatic and likes to eat his pasta.

"He advises me to put in extra training and always try to better myself, like saying if you are doing weights try and put in 13 instead of 10.

"He just says you should always put in a bit extra, and in fact I have been doing weights nearly every other day in the gym.

"I'm trying to eat more as well to put on a bit of weight and muscle; I am quite small but I feel I am getting stronger. I have got to keep going at it really."

Although still young enough to play for Tony Carr's team, he admits: "To be honest I prefer playing in the reserves because you are playing with better players and against better players.

"The youth team is a bit more 100 mph whereas in the reserves you have got players who want to pass the ball more.

"I think I am doing okay in the reserves and if I don't play for them I play for the youth team."

The next stage of his development might be a loan move, and he says: "Hopefully if you keep playing well a chance will come along in the first team or to maybe even go on loan.

"I know the boss doesn't really like to do that; he likes to keep players under the coaches eyes but I thought if I am still playing in the reserves and playing well, maybe at Christmas time I could ask if someone will take me on loan."

As for his favourite position, he says: "I started pre-season at left wing and I have enjoyed playing there but I do miss playing centre midfield because on the wing you might not get the ball for a lot of the game.

"In centre midfield you are always getting a lot of the ball."

Leon is West Ham's highest squad number at 40 and adds: "Hopefully I can keep pushing on and make the first team and hopefully get that number lower down.

"I have been to a few of the games at home and we have been doing well; now, hopefully, things will pick up away from home as well.

"Hopefully everyone will come back fresh after the break. Everyone has got a bit of a buzz in training and I'm sure we can get back to winning ways."