Lomas maintains unbeaten start

Steve Lomas maintained his unbeaten record as West Ham United reserve-team manager courtesy of a 4-2 victory over Newcastle United on Tuesday.

A youthful Magpies side threatened to cause an upset at the Boleyn Ground when Greg McDermott levelled the scores at 2-2 with a little more than 20 minutes remaining.

However, the Hammers' greater experience and desire to win shone through in the closing stages as the impressive Zavon Hines and substitute Cristian Montano both found the net. Earlier, Philip Airey had given Newcastle the lead before Freddie Sears and Robbie Keane - continuing his return from a thigh injury - scored to put the home side 2-1 up early in the second half.

Lomas, who has now recorded wins over Arsenal and Newcastle to go with a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, was happy enough with a win that took the Hammers up to second in the Southern Group table.

"I think it was the normal scenario. You had a young Newcastle team who were lively and up for it, and I thought they did really well in the first half so I want to give them a bit of credit.

"When they equalised to make it 2-2, I thought 'Here we go'. However, I thought the lads played a lot better in the second half, with a lot more intensity and moved the ball better.

"I thought we were a bit laboured in the first half. I thought we needed to mix it up a bit because we were over-playing and we did things better in the second half and probably could have had two or three more goals."

On-loan forward Keane is ineligible for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to parent club Tottenham Hotspur, but Lomas said the Republic of Ireland captain will have acquired much-needed match-fitness ahead of his country's home EURO 2012 qualifier against FYR Macedonia and friendly international with Uruguay later this month.

"It was good, obviously, to get Robbie some match time. Obviously he can't play on Saturday, so it was important that he got some action ahead of going away with Ireland. That was important for him and he's come through with no ill-effects."

Keane was not the only Hammer to catch the eye. Hines capped a lively all-round display with a well-taken headed goal, while Julien Faubert, Herita Ilunga, Luis Boa Morte and Radoslav Kovac all put in positive performances.

At the other end of the age spectrum, centre-backs Callum McNaughton - who also captained the side - and Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson showed their promise.

"It was a good performance from Zavon. He played out of position in the first half and up front in the second half and looked lively.

"I thought all the senior boys showed a good attitude. I thought Julien Faubert was excellent again, having been excellent against Arsenal two weeks ago. Herita did well, as did Boa and Kovi, who showed good attitudes alongside the young lads.

"It was good that they came down and were good examples for them, which they were. The two young ones at centre-half did OK and, all in all, it was positive."

Lomas explained that, after naming Frank Nouble and McNaughton as his captain in his last two matches, he intends to give many of his younger players the opportunity to lead their side during their final six league fixtures.

"I want all the young boys to have a go at it because I want them to be vocal because they don't talk enough around the senior players. I understand that it is difficult to demand things of them, but if they are going to train with them and play with them, then they've got to be able to tell them if they are doing something wrong and if they want the ball.

"Callum has been good. He went out to Bishop's Stortford [on loan for a month in December] and has come back before I arrived and has done really well since I've been here.

"For me, I want all the young lads to captain because they're the ones who are going to be with me the majority of the time.

"I want to see how they respond and I thought Callum responded very well. Obviously he is still raw and makes some mistakes like you shouldn't do, but he's still learning the game.

"What I like about Callum is that he's got a great attitude and he wants to learn. That goes for all the young lads - I've been here for three weeks and they've all been first-class in training and at games.

"Some of the young lads were left out for this game and you could see the disappointment on their faces. That's good, because I want them to be disappointed when they're left out.

"That's just the way of it because first-team players need games and there will be other matches where they aren't available and they'll get their chance to show the same attitude they did at Sunderland."