U18s go for five straight

While all the attention will be on West Ham United's npower Championship fixture at Millwall on Saturday, Academy Director Tony Carr will be fully-focused on ensuring the club's Under-18s extend their perfect start to the season.

The young Hammers have won all four FA Premier Academy League matches they have contested so far ahead of this weekend's trip to Coventry City, scoring 14 goals in the process.

However, the Sky Blues have also opened 2011/12 in fine fashion, winning three of their four games - including a 3-2 home victory over Chelsea last Saturday.

Carr and Academy coach Nick Haycock have left nothing to chance in their preparations for the trip to the Alan Higgs Centre.

"Myself and Nick have been working very hard with the boys this week to make sure after the very good start we have had that no complacency sets in," said Carr. "We have played another unbeaten team in Coventry who have won three and drawn one.

"They are defending an unbeaten run. They beat Chelsea last week so we go to the Midlands hoping we can continue this great start we have had."

The coaching staff has been boosted by the squad reporting a clean bill of health, with England U17 winger Mathias Fanimo making a welcome return from injury.

"Matthias is back in the squad. He has had two weeks off with a hip and hamstring problem. He will be on the bench and may feature. All fit and raring to go.

"We have good competition for places. We are scoring goals and we hope we can continue that for as long as possible."

With the likes of Elliot Lee, Kieran Sadlier and Leo Chambers excelling in their first few weeks as full-time scholars, Carr and Haycock have had to make sure his young charges keep their feet on the ground.

"Nick has worked very hard to make sure there isn't complacency. They can't just walk out and expect to win. It is a good learning period for them because we are not having to pick them up after defeats - we are having to keep their feet on the ground with the buzz of winning.

"We are travelling up on the day hopefully we can make it a good day all round with the first team at Millwall as lunchtime."

To complete a busy Saturday, a number of the club's Academy products will be in action for their respective loan clubs.

In the Championship, Jordan Spence's Bristol City head to Leeds United, while Cristian Montano's Notts County head for Stevenage in League One.

In League Two, Callum McNaughton's AFC Wimbledon host Cheltenham Town, Jordan Brown's Aldershot Town travel to Bristol Rovers, Ahmed Abdulla's Swindon Town go to Burton Albion, Olly Lee's Dagenham & Redbridge host leaders Morecambe and Robert Hall's Oxford United head for Barnet.

Carr is hoping to watch Hall - a second-year scholar - in action at Underhill, with the 17-year-old having marked his U's debut with a match-winning goal at Dagenham in midweek.

"We have got a number of players out on loan at the moment but the youngest one is Robert, who has people may know is a young and upcoming striker.

"He is an England international and has been in great form in pre-season with the development squad. He hasn't featured with the youth team this year because he has made great strides forward.

"The opportunity came up to go to Oxford and he has made a dream start at Dagenham - the staff were watching him play and he scored on his debut.

"After the Coventry game I am going to dash down the motorway to get to Barnet to watch him play and hopefully he can continue in the vein. His family aren't too far away so they can watch him easily and it is good for us to keep tabs on him."

*Supporters who would like to attend Saturday's game at Coventry City should note that kick-off at the Alan Higgs Centre is at 11.30am.