Henri and Gary return

Ian Hendon had plenty of reasons to be pleased following Tuesday's 3-0 development squad victory over Brentford at the Boleyn Ground.

Gary O'Neil and Henri Lansbury both made successful returns from injury, while George Moncur hit a fine goal to complete a comfortable success.

The sight of O'Neil was the real highlight of a cold afternoon in east London as the midfielder made his first appearance since suffering a serious ankle in injury in a Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on 20 April - seven-and-a-half months ago.

Hendon is hopeful both O'Neil and Lansbury will be available soon for selection by manager Sam Allardyce, who watched on from the Alpari Stand with assistant boss Neil McDonald, first-team coach Wally Downes and goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson.

"Henri has been training really well and his quality is there for all to see," Hendon told West Ham TV. "As soon as he is back ready and fit, which I think he is now, it will be a bonus for the gaffer come Saturday afternoons.

"Gary is a bit stiff and tired at the moment but he's come through. He's worked his socks off to get back to fitness and will continue to do so. It was a nice step for him to get out on the pitch and one of the goals came from him hitting a shot and we followed it in."

Aside from the returns of O'Neil and Lansbury, there were also welcome appearances from Marek Stech and Freddie Sears, while Sergio Sanchez played for the first time since August.

"It was a good result and run out for the lads. It was also nice to get out on the pitch at the Boleyn Ground, so that was a little bonus for the boys who work hard in training every week. It was a nice little reward for them.

"They performed quite well against Brentford and ran out comfortable victors in the end. I won't take anything away from Brentford because they kept battling in the second half. They could have quite easily dropped their heads but they kept going.

"We also made a few changes which probably unsettled us a little bit, but on the whole it was a good performance. We had a couple of lads coming back from injury and it was a good win."

While the festive season has traditionally been a quiet period for reserve-team football, Hendon is eager to ensure his development squad remain active over the Christmas period. That way, his players will be fit should Big Sam call upon them for first-team duty.

"We've got a couple of games arranged against Crawley and Colchester, but it all depends on the weather and things like that.

"We need to get everyone playing, up to speed and getting minutes. Gary will hopefully get some more minutes next week and any of the other lads who haven't played in the first team lately. We still have to arrange fixtures and keep people fit."