Keen to take reserves

Kevin Keen goes back in time on Wednesday when he takes charge of West Ham United's reserve team for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

Keen has held the role of reserve-team manager twice in the past before passing over the reins to Alex Dyer on his promotion to first-team coach in September 2008.

Dyer departed to become assistant manager at Charlton Athletic last week and, while the club seeks a permanent replacement, Keen and Academy Director Tony Carr have assumed the role on a temporary basis.

Carr took the reserves for last week's 1-1 Barclays Premier Reserve League draw with West Bromwich Albion at Bishop's Stortford, with Australian-born scholar Dylan Tombides scoring his first goal at that level.

West Brom provide the opposition again this week, with the reverse fixture being played behind closed doors at the Baggies' training ground.

Incidentally, Keen's last match in charge of a West Ham side came as caretaker manager in September 2008, when the Hammers were beaten 3-2 in a thrilling Premier League match at The Hawthorns.

"It's been a little while so I'm looking forward to it," the 43-year-old told "Tony took the team last week and they did quite well. We have a few more senior players available for this match, so I'm looking forward to it."

Tombides has again been named in the second-string squad alongside fellow scholars Robert Hall and Callum Driver.

At the other end of the experience scale, Thomas Hitzlsperger could make a welcome return to action after six months out with a serious groin injury, while the likes of Ruud Boffin, Radoslav Kovac, Freddie Sears and Zavon Hines could also be involved.

"There will be two or three of the scholars playing who I obviously keep a close eye on and see in training every day. I'm especially looking forward to seeing a couple of them in match action, so that'll be interesting."

West Ham go into Wednesday's match fifth in the Southern Division, but have a number of games in-hand on the teams above them, while West Brom sit third.

Kick-off on Wednesday is at 1pm, with live text updates on