Stanislas on the right path

Junior Stanislas is aiming to continue his progress at reserve-team level after some promising performances of late.

The attacking midfielder particularly played a significant part off the bench in last week's 4-1 success against Birmingham City. Kevin Keen introduced him at half-time with the score at 1-1 after Jack Collison had cancelled out Birmingham's opener. Stanislas's arrival helped provide extra impetus behind Bobby Zamora that paved the way for the No9 to score a comeback hat-trick.

"Kevin wanted to change things around a bit, he felt we needed to push on in the final third and told me to come on, get involved and try to help change the game," Stanislas said. "He said get on the ball and do what you can for the team. Jack had got a goal and then Bobby went on and scored a great hat-trick, it was good to be involved and Kevin told me I had worked hard and done well."

Stanislas figured again when the Hammers won 2-0 in the latest reserve-team fixture played at Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday night. These are good times as he also continued his great form with the Under-18s at the weekend by scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win at league leaders Southampton. "I am enjoying it, playing for the reserves has made me more confident and of course, you are learning alongside some of the senior players as well, it's good.

"My aim is to hold down a regular place in the reserve team, develop more as a player at that level and still push on and get better in the Under-18's. Playing reserves is a step-up, the game is much quicker and you have to learn that you don't get as much time on the ball, so you have to be thinking ahead all of the time."

Stanislas has also had another taste of the England Under-19 set-up already familiar to Jordan Spence, James Tomkins and Freddie Sears - all of whom should also be on view this evening. He was involved in the 2-0 friendly win against Croatia earlier this month having also got a taste of playing against Germany last November. "It was a good experience, I loved it - everyone wants to play for their country and you do think you must be doing something right for to be picked.

"But it only makes you want to go on and do more. In the last match, I came off the bench and had a few minutes and my aim is to have even more minutes on the pitch for both West Ham and England. With international football, it's all about keeping the ball and moving it fast as well. I had moral support from Tomka and Fred up there, and I really enjoyed it, so hopefully there is more to come if I keep working hard at my game."