U18s off to Charlton

West Ham United's Under-18s will seek to extend their unbeaten FA Premier Academy League run to seven matches when they make the short trip to Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

The Hammers have climbed to fifth in Group A in recent weeks, having scored hugely impressive victories over Arsenal and Chelsea.

Charlton sit bottom of the ten-club table, having won just two of their eleven league fixtures so far. However, Academy Director Tony Carr is still expecting the Addicks to put up a fight.

"We're on a good run of form at the moment so we go there full of confidence.

"I watched them on Wednesday when they played Woking in the FA Youth Cup. They played very well and won 3-1 quite comprehensively really.

"Like all youth games, it depends what team is put out on the day, but we're expecting a tough match. We can go into it full of confidence. We're scoring goals now and have beaten some big teams.

"Hopefully we can carry on the run and stay unbeaten until Christmas at least."

While the Hammers have improved collectively since starting the season slowly, Carr was impressed by the performance of England U17 striker Robert Hall in last weekend's 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Little Heath.

Substitute Hall scored twice in wet and windy conditions, showing his finishing prowess, and Carr admitted the youngster was pushing for a start at Charlton.

"Robert will definitely be in the squad. I've not made up my mind 100 per cent whether he will start or not, but obviously he's staked his claim with two goals last week, so he's thrown down the gauntlet to the other strikers who are trying to get into the squad.

"I've been really pleased with his performances and his contribution. As we know, the boy can score goals and if he doesn't start, he'll definitely feature.

"It was touch-and-go whether we would play the game, but it was playable and the referee was right. It didn't look that way at 9.30, but I hope it will be a little bit drier this week and not as windy!"