U18s off to Fulham

Tony Carr's Under-18s go for their third consecutive FA Premier Academy League victory at Fulham on Saturday.

The Academy Director has been heartened by his side's improved displays in recent weeks, with the U18s ending a seven-match winless run by beating Portsmouth and Arsenal.

Carr believes his players have shown a greater level of application and concentration in both victories.

"The keys to our improvement have been based on consistency. We are concentrating better and not making the mistakes that we made in the early matches this season so often.

"As a consequence, we are not conceding as many goals defensively, and we are converting more chances at the attacking end of the pitch."

While Arsenal presented the Hammers with the challenge of stopping their intricate, pass-and-move style of play, Carr is expecting a more physical game at Motspur Park.

West Ham go into Saturday's match ahead of Fulham on goal difference in Group A, with both teams having taken 12 points from their opening ten fixtures. The Cottagers also won last week, overcoming Norwich City 3-1.

"We face a different sort of challenge at Fulham. They are a more direct side and will test us, but all these matches are giving the players greater experience and expanding their football education."

Four of Carr's squad - Jordan Brown, Eoin Wearen, Cristian Montano and Ahmed Abdulla - featured at the same venue in Tuesday's 1-1 FA Premier Reserve League South draw and are all expected to start on Saturday.

However, one definite absentee is goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet, who is part of Turkey's squad at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Nigeria. Turkey face a quarter-final with Colombia on Sunday afternoon.