Brown praises attitude of senior players

Steve Brown congratulated his reserve side on a job well done against a young and enthusiastic Arsenal team last night.

The Hammers coach named an experienced line-up for the penultimate reserve game of the season at Barnet's Underhill Stadium and, after early goals from Marlon Harewood and Hayden Mullins had secured a comfortable 2-0 victory, was full of praise for the professional attitude displayed.

"The victory was deserved and, in all honesty, expected with the quality of side we had out," said Steve. "The two early goals put us in full control and after that it was virtually an exhibition match.

"Arsenal had a very young side out, while we had nine senior, experienced professionals, and the difference was obvious. They battled bravely, but we snuffed them out whenever they got into the final third, and Roy Carroll had very little to do.

"The tempo of the game became very slow, and although we had a couple more chances, we didn't really reach the heights of the first 10 minutes, and probably had a couple more gears in us if we had needed them.

"Saying that, the attitude and professionalism was spot on, and the players got out of it what they needed. You can only beat what is put in front of you and, although it perhaps would have made more of a spectacle if Arsenal had used one or two senior players, I was pleased with our contribution.

"That's now five wins in a row, with five clean sheets in the last six matches, and it's pleasing to see us finish the season so strongly. A couple of the young lads, such as James Tomkins and Tony Stokes, have only just come back from injury, and our final game against Reading next week will hopefully give them the opportunity to get 90 minutes under their belts, so there have been plenty of positives for us recently."