Kevin Keen was full of praise for his West Ham United reserve side after an impressive 8-0 victory at Derby County last night.
"The boys, both young and old, were outstanding," Keen said. "We played fast-attacking football and it was so pleasing to watch. I couldn't have asked for more from them and the attitude from everyone of those players was second to none.
"We had senior players coming back from injury who gave 100 per cent and our younger players stepped up to the grade. It's not easy going up to a place like Derby, a Monday night, perhaps not a game that is seen by many people and facing a young, but battling Derby side. Yet the effort was there and it paid off for us."
Keen said another huge plus was that Dean Ashton and Scott Parker came through the 90 minutes unscathed and undoubtedly added to their fitness. "For the club as a whole, this is great news," he said. "Not only did they get through the game without any problems, they played a very significant part in the win.
"Deano got two goals and looked very sharp and he had assists in some of the other goals. Scotty was tremendous all night in midfield, he really was and they showed a wonderful example which was followed by our younger players.
"Another great performance was by Christian [Dailly] just back from his loan spell at Southampton. He simply came in and did the job he had to do. John Pantsil, Nigel Quashie and Jimmy Walker all showed their worth. In fact, Jimmy made a fantastic save when it was 0-0, so that proved to be important."
There were several other performances that pleased Keen, among them was Junior Stanislas, who grabbed two goals, while Hogan Ephraim, just back from his loan spell at Queens Park Rangers, got one as did reserve team captain Jack Collison. Kyel Reid, who recently signed a new contract at the club, also found the target for his second in three games.
As well as the satisfaction of scoring several goals, the reserves are now unbeaten in four games, with two wins and two draws. "There is a lot of confidence among the younger players this season," added Keen. "They are benefitting from playing alongside the senior players and also, having played quite a bit in the reserves last year, they are getting rewards from the experience they have gained.
"The quality in our play was great to watch, some of the goals were good individual efforts, others included some six or seven passes between different players, so it was a fantastic performance all round. The players all did West Ham United proud."
The reserves are next in action against Chelsea on Monday 10 December. The club has confirmed this will be held at the home of Bishop's Stortford FC. The full address is Woodside Park, Dunmow Road, Bishop's Stortford, CM23 5GZ. The kick-off will be at 7pm.