Hendon hails 'sensational' Dev Squad

Ian Hendon was almost speechless after the Development Squad's 'sensational' 4-1 over Arsenal at Rush Green.

Goals from Rob Hall, Matthias Fanimo, Dan Potts and Blair Turgott sealed the win that took the young Hammers joint top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League. With a first-team Capital One Cup match with Wigan on Tuesday, West Ham United's youngsters could not have picked a better time to show their worth to the watching assistant manager Neil McDonald.

"It was a sensational performance from the lads and if I am being perfectly honest I was a little stuck for words when the final whistle blew," Hendon said.

"It was nice for them to come and perform how we know they can, they did it against Everton when we won 5-1 and I have just been waiting for them to recreate that performance at home, which they did against Arsenal."

Hendon was impressed by how his young side showed their defensive mettle after their visitors took the lead in the fifth minute.

"I wouldn't say we were comfortable winners but we have come out and scored four good goals. You can never switch off against Arsenal, they created some good chances late on but thankfully they went wide.

"All in all a fantastic performance and I am very pleased, hopefully we can kick on now and get another good win at home next week against Norwich City on Friday."

Sebastian Lletget and George Moncur both put in combative performances in the centre of midfield and Hendon paid tribute to their work ethic during the game.

"You know what you are going to get with Arsenal, they pass, it pass it and pass it some more, so when you don't have possession you have to work very hard and be very patient.

"We worked with the midfield lads a lot last week on breaking down the play ahead of the game and it worked a treat as we have come away with a terrific result."

Arsenal opened the scoring when Elton Monteiro headed past Raphael Spiegel, but the Hammers did not cave in after a bright opening.

"I actually thought we started very well," explained Hendon. "We conceded after five minutes and it would have been easy for the lads to let their heads drop because of the calibre of opposition we faced.

"I think if you look all around the pitch we have so many good partnerships, which all good teams need. They all have a great understanding of one another's footballing ability."

Paul McCallum led the line alongside Hall and despite not getting on the scoresheet, Hendon praised the impact of the 19-year-old.

"I thought Paul McCallum was fantastic tonight, he is a foil and I am just gutted he didn't score because he did everything else.

"A lot of our good play went up to him and he won it all, he is a very good outlet for us. That is not to say we crash it up to him all the time because we don't, we play some very attractive football."

Hendon's side now sit joint-top of Barclays Under-21 Premier League National Group One, but Hendon insisted the challenge will be staying there. Norwich City are the next visitors to Rush Green on Friday night at 7pm. Entrance is free to Season Ticket holders, £3 for Adults and £1 for Kids.

"I think the easy bit is getting to the top of the league, the most difficult part will be staying there, Arsenal came here top of the league and you raise your game because you want to be beat the best.

"Norwich will do the same when they come here on Friday, they will want to turn us over. Forget the league table, yes it is about winning games of football but at the moment we need to take every game as it comes."

Arsenal tickets