Ruud ready for Shots

West Ham United goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson believes Ruud Boffin can rise to the occasion if called upon in Wednesday's Carling Cup first-round meeting with Aldershot Town.

The 6'5 Belgian could be given the nod for the re-arranged tie should manager Sam Allardyce choose to give a number of his fringe players an opportunity to impress against the League Two side as well as fielding some of his established senior players.

If Boffin is one of those presented with a chance to shine Margetson is confident the 23-year-old - whose sole first-team appearance came in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Blackburn Rovers in December 2010 - will not let the Hammers down.

The Shots are likely to fire a volley of high balls into the West Ham penalty area and, should he play, the towering No31 will have to use his giant frame to good effect to repel the visitors' threat.

"Ruud's main asset is his physical presence," said Margetson, who joined the Hammers in July. "He's 6'5 and it's getting him to use that and we're working on him best utilising his presence, really.

"If you're 6'5 but are defending your goal 4' high, you're taking away what you've been given. He's had habits that, I would say, he defends his goal too small in that he crouches right down and that's not a good reaction position.

"With Ruud, we've been working on that and the little things that we've been trying to do I think he's implemented really well.

"He's done very well. He kicks it as well as anybody I've ever seen, to be fair. He's a young goalkeeper and a lot of them use a sidewinder technique, which is different, and he does it really well. It's a good asset to have.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him play."

Ruud Boffin

A 39-year-old former Wales international, Margetson spent ten years with Manchester City acting as back-up to No1 Tony Coton before enjoying a career in the lower divisions with Southend United, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City.

Capped once by Wales in 2004, the West Neath-born coach also works with the Welsh national team and linked up with the Hammers after being recommended to Allardyce by Wales manager and former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Gary Speed.

As a long-term back-up himself, Margetson knows how hard it can be for goalkeepers like Boffin to train every day without the reward of first-team football.

"Obviously I've been a No2 and I totally understand the frustrations and because I've been there myself I can empathise with Ruud," he said.

"Sometimes it's a really difficult situation and you have to work extra hard because you have to be ready when called upon.

"You have to do the work and be ready and it's frustrating when you're not playing because there is nothing better than training hard all week and getting better and then going on to express yourself in a game.

"As a No2 you don't get to do that, but Ruud understands and he's still plenty young enough. He's only 23 and I think the average age for a starting goalkeeper in the Championship is 26 or 27. He's got a bit of time on his side."

While he may not have the same profile as Allardyce, assistant manager Neil McDonald or first-team coach Wally Downes, Margetson is an important member of the backroom staff.

With that in mind, he is confident the Hammers have the right management team and players to achieve their goal of gaining promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt.

"It has been frustrating. We've conceded late goals at home which have cost us, as the manager has said, but if we get a win on Sunday we're right back bang on course.

"If you achieve an average of two points-a-game then you get promoted, so if we get three points on Sunday we'll be on course for where we want to be.

"It will be topsy-turvy. I remember one year at Cardiff we drew 17 games and made the Play-Offs and the following year we lost a lot more but didn't draw as many and won more and still made the Play-Offs.

"We don't want to make the Play-Offs - we want to get automatic promotion. If we get two points-a-game we'll get automatic promotion."