'The pressure was on me'

Ian Hendon was breathing a sigh of relief after his development squad completed a perfect few days for West Ham United.

The Hammers' first-team, youth, schoolboy and Ladies sides all secured victories at the weekend, leaving Hendon sweating ahead of Tuesday's visit of a Brentford XI to Little Heath.

Thankfully for the development  squad coach, Robert Hall scored twice and Freddie Sears once in convincing a 3-1 win that featured debutant Papa Bouba Diop.

"I think the pressure was on me a bit because the Under-16s and Under-18s won up at Sunderland on Saturday and the first team won at Forest on Sunday, so thankfully we got a win to top it all!" Hendon told West Ham TV.

"Coming into this little break, everybody has had a good win and it freshens everybody up and gets them ready to go into the next game."

Hendon was particularly pleased with the positive mental approach taken to the game by a Hammers side that included Abdoulaye Faye and a host of the clubs young professionals and promising scholars.

"I've watched a lot of reserve-team football over the years, having been a manager myself in the league, and you go to watch a lot of reserve games and they are non-events.

"We've got young players here and we've got to get them that winning mentality because winning is everything. If they step up or go out on loan, it's all about winning points on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday night so the quicker they get that mentality into their make-up and it meaning something to win football matches, the better they will be for that."

Bouba Diop was singled out for praise by the 39-year-old, who believes the powerhouse Senegal midfielder will bring a great deal of quality and experience to Sam Allardyce's squad.

"I thought he was outstanding in there. He's a big strong lad who is good on the ball for his size. He's been training with me for a couple of days and he looks, as we know he is, a very good player.

"He's a good lad and I'm glad he's come on board."

At the other end of the age-scale, Hendon was also effusive when asked about the impact made by 17-year-old Hall.

The England Under-18 forward netted two outstanding goals - the first from the corner of the penalty area and the second direct from a free-kick.

"They are becoming a bit of a trademark for him at a young age. He keeps coming in from the right on his left foot and finding that far corner.

"He's a talented player - we know that - and I'm sure he's going to be exciting moving forward."

Hall is just one of a host of young players whose presence at the club has Hendon feeling positive about the future.

Scholars Danny Potts, Blair Turgott and Elliot Lee were given a 25-minute run out and responded by adding energy and cutting-edge to the Hammers' play in the closing stages.

"The younger lads have come on, especially the lads who have come up from the youth team, and they're eager and want to impress.

"They have come on and they want to chase and harry the opposition and that's exactly what they did do. I think Elliot Lee has come on and, on another day, might have got two goals himself through his eagerness to get into the box and score goals.

"Blair Turgott came on as well and worked his socks off, while Danny Potts has come on and played like a marauding left winger, making runs forward and getting into their box.

"It bodes well. We've got a lot of good young players and it's my job to help bring them through alongside what Tony Carr and Nick Haycock are doing."

*To watch Ian Hendon's interview in full, including his views on Republic of Ireland Under-19 international Eoin Wearen's conversion to centre-back, log on or subscribe to West Ham TV.