Carr demanding more

Tony Carr is demanding more from his players as the Under-18s reach the conclusion of their pre-season preparations.

West Ham United's youngsters secured a 2-0 friendly victory at Ipswich Town but, with a little more than two weeks to go until their FA Premier Academy League opener against West Bromwich Albion on 21 August, Carr thinks improvements can be made.

That said, the Academy Director was happy to score a morale-boosting win in Suffolk through goals from Republic of Ireland youth international Daniel Purdy and midfielder Dominic Vose.

"It's always nice to go to Ipswich as they have good facilities, good pitches and nice people there," said Carr. "I was pleasantly surprised to bump into Mike Pejic there, who I faced when we played Plymouth Argyle in the FA Youth Cup last season, as he has taken over their youth Academy.

"It was a decent game played in three 30-minute sections, enabling us to bring players on and off and give them some coaching in between.

"I would say Ipswich had the first half an hour in terms of possession of the ball - they kept it better than us. We were out of the blocks a little bit slowly, which can happen when you play away from home and some of the players don't travel together and don't quite get to there at the right time and it can disrupt your early performance."

West Ham's goals on Wednesday came in the second and third of the 30-minute periods as the visitors finished the game strongly after an uncertain start.

The first saw Paco Craig hauled down at the far post and Purdy step up and put the spot-kick low into the corner after 55 minutes.

The win was wrapped up at the climax of West Ham's best move of the game with ten minutes remaining, with the ball being worked from front to back before Dominic Vose slotted Jack Werndly's lay-off into the corner from just outside the penalty area.

"We slowly got into the game and although I didn't think we played that well overall, we did finish the game strongly," Carr added. "They had one opportunity in the first period which went wide but, other than that, we reduced them to long-range efforts.

"Sam Cowler in goal had a very good game and was solid and commanding, and I was pleased with his performance, Without being disrespectful, the rest of the team were a little bit short of where I would like them to be at this stage of pre-season.

"Two-nil flattered us a little bit as we didn't play too well, but we did finish strongly and it's another 90 minutes under the belts of the players."

"We've got three friendlies left before we start on 21 August to iron all those problems out. It also gives me things to emphasise in training, so these games are all useful exercises."

West Ham fielded an inexperienced side at Ipswich, with the likes of Deniz Mehmet, Sergio Sanchez, George Moncur, Eoin Wearen, Filip Modelski and Robert Hall away with the reserves at Dagenham & Redbridge on the same day.

The Academy Director said it was important for the young scholars to get playing time, whichever team they were turning out for.

"The reserve team is about half of the youth team, which means the younger element in the youth team are getting games, which is good and is the whole idea of pre-season. You want players to get matches under their belts, so it is good all-round.

"We go again at home to Leyton Orient on Saturday morning at Little Heath, with kick-off at 11am. If any supporters would like to come down, then admission and parking free and you will still have plenty of time to get to Upton Park for the first-team game against Deportivo La Coruna at 3pm."

West Ham United U18: Cowler, Young, Craig, K.Lee, Driver, Vose, Turgott, Hurley, Purdy, Subuola, Tombides
Subs used: Powell, Hunt, Werndly