Reserves relish Reds test

Alex Dyer's reserves will head to Liverpool this evening looking to make it three wins from three in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.

The Hammers second string won 1-0 at Everton last month before following that up last Tuesday with a 2-0 home success against Wigan Athletic. The quick return to Merseyside to take on the Reds promises to be the toughest challenge yet - especially as Dyer is unlikely to have as many senior players at his disposal as he has had in the first two outings.

The coach said his young players - likely to be led again by Jordan Spence and feature Freddie Sears in attack - were all eager to put their hard work on the training pitches into action when they take to the field at Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers. Liverpool boast a strong youth set-up too, including Thomas Ince, the 18-year-old midfielder son of former Hammer Paul.

Dyer said: "I am looking forward to getting back out there. The boys are doing well and they can't wait to play. We are looking forward to going to a good club, a club with tradition and hopefully we can go out and give a good account of ourselves.

"I hope we can repeat [the Everton result] but we had a strong squad in that match. Tonight, the lads will be quite a lot younger but it is a good opportunity for them to go out there and see what they can do."

The Barclays Premier Reserve League has been reshaped for the new season, with the 16 competing teams now split into three divisions.

West Ham are in the Southern section alongside Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the Hammers taking on each of their division rivals home and away.

Dyer's squad will also take on the ten teams in the two other divisions - Northern A and Northern B - once each, making for a 20-match season. Liverpool are currently top of Northern B, having taken five points from their opening four matches.

The coach said the new format was "great" and was already making for a more interesting programme. "It gives the lads a chance to travel up north and for other clubs to see them as well. For them to play against new different players and experience travelling is invaluable.

"The bread and butter for a footballer is to travel, sit on a coach for a long time, then play a game and then get home at 3am in the morning. It is all a learning curve and will help them develop for the future.

"I am hoping again to go there and give a good account of ourselves. I want to go to Liverpool and win the game. I am not looking to sit back and go through the motions. Even if we have a younger team, I still want to win the game, play attacking football and show ourselves in the best light."