West Ham United Academy director Tony Carr is backing his Under-18 side to keep the winning habit when they host Ipswich Town on Saturday morning.
The Hammers will take to the pitch at Little Heath in confident mood, having secured a 4-1 win against Southampton a week ago, when Christian Montano scored twice as well as goals for Daniel Kearns and Conor Okus. That completed a double over the Saints for Carr's youngsters, who were 6-1 winners on the south coast earlier in their FA Premier Academy League campaign.
The away fixture at Ipswich did not go so well, as the Tractor Boys completed a 4-2 victory the week after the Hammers' big win at Southampton in November. Despite that result, however, Carr is confident his team can continue their bright start to 2009 with another success.
"It was a good weekend as we did the double of Southampton but now we face Ipswich and we will be looking to reverse the home defeat we had against them earlier this season, where they were much stronger than us on the day.
"I went to watch them in the week in the FA Youth Cup against Crystal Palace and they won 4-2 after extra time. We're going to have our work cut out but we're coming into the game on the back of a good result and we'll be going into the game full of confidence and make more of a game of it earlier this season."
Having seen Ipswich at close quarters, Carr believes he has identified Ipswich's strengths as well as their weaknesses. However, the coach knows the Suffolk side's cup win will count for nothing come the weekend.
"I think as a team they are good, hardworking team with two good strikers, one of whom scored a hat-trick against Palace, which means he will be one to watch. I think youth football is about on the day and you're going to get ups and downs and on Saturday we have the ups."
Having ended 2008 with a run of three games without a win, Carr is now keen to see his players find a consistency in their level of performance in the new year.
"We want consistency from our players and a level of players that does not dip too low and the next week and we rise to the great heights. We want a little bit more constancy from our players with more highs than lows, but certainly a greater level of performance on a more consistent basis, which is what professional football is all about. You are going to have your ups and downs but you need more ups than downs."
West Ham United will be without Hungarian striker Balint Bajner and central defender Tony Brookes, who will be out of action for around a fortnight, while promising Polish full-back Filip Modelski will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.