Dyer drawing on positives

Alex Dyer believes Freddie Sears will take great confidence from scoring twice in Tuesday's 4-2 Barclays Premier Reserve League South defeat by Arsenal.

The 20-year-old marked his first start since returning from a loan spell at Coca-Cola Championship outfit Crystal Palace by blasting two penalties past Gunners goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

Sears, who did not hit the net in 18 games for the Eagles, many of which saw him playing out of position on the wing, showed no signs of rust in confidently converting both spot-kicks.

Manager Dyer, who was slightly disappointed to see his side lose after battling back from a two-goal half-time deficit, was pleased with the contribution of the Hornchurch-based hitman.

"I watched him at Palace a few times and kept an eye on him and his performances were good at times. He just couldn't get on the end of things and hit the back of the net.

"Every time he has played in the reserves, he has been excellent. He started doing the things he knows he can do, running the channels and putting defenders under pressure. That's his game. He was also quick to grab the ball and score two penalties, so it was a good night for him."

Dyer was also pleased with the reaction of his young side after they were stunned by two Jay Thomas goals within the space of 60 first-half seconds. Sears brought the Hammers level, only for substitute Emmanuel Frimpong and Thomas to settle matters within the final eleven minutes.

"Before half-time they were better than us, but we passed the ball well. We had a few words at half-time and ironed out a couple of things and came out in the second half and started doing the things that we do in training. We passed and moved and put people under pressure. We had two penalties but we could have had three.

"The lads did well and showed character. They dug in and we were disappointed to concede two late goals at the end."

Dyer believes his players - in particular forwards Sears and Cristian Montano - would also take something positive from the experience of coming up against former England defender Sol Campbell.

The 35-year-old turned out for former club Arsenal with the view to signing a short-term deal with Arsene Wenger's side, and showed glimpses of his international class with an assured 45-minute display.

"When good players come to play at West Ham it inspires the lads. Sol Campbell is a name and has had a great career. He's gone back to where it all started [in the reserves] and it made my teamtalk easy before the game. I told them there would be a lot of people and media there and they would be on Sky all day so they should go out and give a good account of themselves, which they certainly did do.

"In the second half they worked very hard and I'm disappointed for them that they didn't come out of the game with at least a point."