Hall on a high

Rob Hall is itching to make his West Ham United debut after being named in the Hammers matchday squad for a league match for the first time.

The 18-year-old was called back from a successful loan spell with League Two high-fliers Oxford United to take his place on the bench for Tuesday's goalless npower Championship draw with Bristol City - having already been an unused substitute for the Carling Cup first-round visit of Aldershot Town in August.

After watching for 90 minutes as the Robins frustrated the Hammers, Hall is now looking forward to getting on to the pitch for the first time in a claret and blue shirt when the opportunity arises.

"It's that close," he told West Ham TV. "It was nice being among the boys and getting used to everyone again. I went to Switzerland with them in the summer which was nice, then I went away and am now back with them.

"It was good to get back together with everyone and we're doing well. We should have won on Tuesday but we just needed that last little edge and didn't get it.

"On another day, we would have got three or four but it just wasn't our night."

Looking back on his two-month stay at Oxford, Hall was grateful to the League Two club for giving him his first opportunity in senior football.

The England Under-18 striker responded with six goals in ten appearances as Chris Wilder's side rocketed into the automatic promotion places.

"It was a great experience. They gave me a great opportunity to go out and play and play how I wanted to play.

"It was a very attacking team and luckily, playing in League Two, Oxford have a good passing team. They don't just launch the ball and have got some great players there, so it suited the way I wanted to play so I'm pleased it went well.

"I wanted to see how it went. I didn't think about it before it happened. I just went out there and worked hard and the boys were great with me down there. Luckily, things paid off and it was a productive two months down there."

Hall was just 17 when he initially joined Oxford in September, but admitted he had been keen to follow a number of his older team-mates out on loan after seeing the likes of Olly Lee, Cristian Montano, Ahmed Abdulla and Callum McNaughton all head out on a temporary basis.

"A lot of good people gave me advice before I went. Josh Payne, who was here as a youngster and is now at Oxford, gave me a ring before I went and said he went out when he was a second-year scholar and it was one of the best things he has ever done.

"I saw a lot of the other boys going out on loan and thought 'Why shouldn't I?'. I asked and was told 'No' and thought maybe I am still too young. Then, a couple of days later, Oxford rang and the gaffer let me go and it turned out to be one of the best things I've done in my career. It's one of the highlights of my life so far."

While his long-term goal is to become a first-team regular with the Hammers, Hall admitted he would readily re-join Oxford on loan should manager Sam Allardyce allow it.

However, the No46 would also be more than willing to try his luck further up the Football League if the manager saw that of greater benefit to his career.

"How Oxford were with me, if I got the opportunity to go back out, then I'd go back there if I had the chance because they were great with me. The lads there were great.

"If the gaffer wants me to go to a higher league then I will do whatever it takes to impress him because I want to play here.

"I can only do what I'm told, so I'll just keep my head down and keep going."