U18s keen to tame Wolves

Supporters eager for a double-dose of West Ham United action and armed with a traffic-beating sat nav can catch the club's youngsters in Barclays U18 Premier League action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Steve Potts' youth team kick-off against Wolves at Little Heath at 12noon - three hours before Sam Allardyce's first team host West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground in the Barclays Premier League.

Potts' youngsters are on a five-game winless run in their Tier One group and the West Ham legend is keen for his players to rediscover their winning touch this weekend.


"It would be nice if they get back to winning ways," the U18s manager told West Ham TV. "It will be a tough game for us. We went up to Wolves and found them to be a very physical and tough side so it will be a good test from that point of view.

"Hopefully our boys can match that side of things and our football can come out. It will be a test for them."

While he would obviously like his team to win and play outstanding football every weekend, Potts believes his young charges will learn from their recent difficult experiences.

"I think it's character-building for them. If you look at the overall picture, we've had a very young side and I think it was only our away game at Tottenham in the league when they have been off their game. In every other game, they have been compeititve.

"There has been quite a lot of good stuff that has come out of the other games."

West Ham have netted just two goals in their previous four matches, with regular centre forward Elliot Lee unavailable due to Development Squad commitments. Republic of Ireland U19 attacker Kieran Sadlier leads the way with eight goals to his name, but Potts wants his other players to get their names on the scoresheet over the closing weeks of the season.

"You cannot just look at the forwards there - you attack as a team and defend as a team. Ideally you'd like to see a few more goals going in to take the pressure off everyone else at the back."

When asked if he has been impressed by his team overall, Potts was quick to throw his support behind his young squad.

"I definitely have. A lot of good football has been played and there have been some good individual performances. Now they have to take them into the Development Squad and push on from there.

"Last week we went up to Liverpool and had three schoolboys playing. They came out of it really well and it was a great experience for them to go up to a club like that. They performed well and it's down to them to carry that forward.

"The youth team is young and the Development Squad is very young. I like to see players like [defensive midfielder] Amos Nasha and [attacking midfielder] Kieran Bywater in there doing well because it can only beneficial for them. Next year, they will be that much stronger." 

Kick-off at Little Heath on Saturday is at 12noon, with admission and parking both free of charge.