Development Squad set for Spurs

Nick Haycock acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge facing West Ham United's Development Squad as he prepares his young side for a trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

After successive postponements, the Hammers belatedly opened their Barclays U21 Premier League Elite Group campaign with an outstanding 2-0 win at Arsenal's London Colney training ground.

It gets no easier, however, as Monday's midday kick-off sees Haycock's men make the short journey to Enfield, to take on a Spurs side who have smashed seven goals in their last two league fixtures.


Though Haycock conceded that Monday's opposition will likely have greater resources to draw upon, he nevertheless takes heart and confidence from the three points earned at the Gunners' expense.

"We're up against the elite of U21 football, so it's going to be a tough challenge for the boys," Haycock told West Ham TV. "But you saw at Arsenal, a bit of hard work with that extra quality we had on show and anything is possible.

"For the likes of Tottenham and the big six clubs, it's not only at first-team level where they've got the best players in the world. It's the same at youth level. They can pretty much go out and buy whoever they want, most of those clubs.

"That's not to discredit their youth systems and the way they play. But obviously our challenge is that we've got fewer players in the first instance and we're probably going to be one of the youngest sides in the U21s this season."

Like the Hammers, Spurs topped their group in the competition's opening phase, winning seven of their 12 fixtures to run out National Group Two winners.

Moreover, they have made a confident start to the Elite Group, bagging four points from their first two contests, after thumping Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-1, before being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Southampton.

Supporters are welcome at Spurs' Bulls Cross training centre in Enfield, where the game is set for a 12pm start. will have live text coverage of the clash, while there will be highlights and post-match reaction to follow.