Hendon hopes for improvement

Development Squad boss Ian Hendon is demanding even more from his side, despite watching them chalk up yet another victory over Norwich City.

The Development Squad followed up a 4-1 home win over Arsenal by beating the Canaries 2-0 at Rush Green on Friday night, with Rob Hall and Pelly Ruddock on target.

The Hammers sit proudly top of the Group 1 table, but Hendon knows the youngsters cannot afford to rest on their laurels when they travel to Blackburn Rovers next Monday.

"Part of me is pleased and part of me is not," said Hendon. "I am obviously pleased with the result and the three points but I thought our performance wasn't as good as it has been in previous weeks.

"That maybe me being a bit picky but we have set our standards with the 5-1 win at Everton and the 4-1 against Arsenal and we came off it a little against Norwich City. I think it is a testament to how the lads have been playing, a win is a win and 2-0 is a good result, we played very well in the opening 20 minutes and went 1-0 up.

"It could and probably should have been more. Paul McCallum should have scored with a header and Callum Driver hit the bar. If they had found the net we may have settled down better than we did."

Norwich fielded an extremely young side who worked tirelessly throughout the course of the game and Hendon praised the hard-working attitude of West Ham's opponents.

"Credit to Norwich because they didn't let us settle. They had a younger side than us and they were always going to work hard in order to compete. They played very well and made it difficult for us.

"All in all it was a great result for us and it keeps the momentum going. Maybe I am being a little bit picky because that's the second win we recorded in a week and we are in a very good position at the moment."

Hall was once again on the scoresheet and Hendon hopes he and the others involved with the first team will continue to improve as they become a regular part of Sam Allardyce's plans.

"It was an unbelievable header from arguably the smallest player on the pitch. He has had three big games recently [against Arsenal, Norwich and in the Capital One Cup against Wigan Athletic] and he did look a little tired at the end and rightly so.

"He gives everything when he plays and was rewarded with yet another goal. It is a credit to him along with Dan Potts and Jordan Spence that they have all played for the first team last week."

Hall, Spence and Potts all featured in all three matches but, Hendon refused to accept that tiredness affected his team's display against Norwich.

"We had eight other players out there full of running. It is a team game and not just about one or two individuals. Maybe it was just one of those nights.  That said, we should enter every game in the right frame of mind, ready to perform."

After two home games at Rush Green, the Development Squad will travel to Blackburn in their next fixture and with nine days between fixtures Hendon is anxious to make the most of the prolonged break.

"We have got a bit of time between now and the next game against Blackburn Rovers, so hopefully some of the players will be involved with the first team during that time.

"It will also mean a rest for some of the players who have been playing a lot lately and for the lads that haven't we are aiming to arrange a friendly at some point to bring them up to speed."