U21s head for Newcastle

Nick Haycock is hoping his Development Squad can return to winning ways when they head to Newcastle United in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Monday.'

After beating Aston Villa and Everton, West Ham United lost their 100 per cent record after surrendering a 2-0 lead at home to Tottenham Hotspur last time out, losing 3-2.

Now, Haycock's young professionals make the long trip north to take on Newcastle at the Northumberland FA ground at Whitley Park in Benton, and the U21s manager is keen to taste victory again.

"We spoke about the Spurs game and told them 'You've got to get over that second half', but in fairness to the lads there was a lot right about the first half as well," said Haycock. "You try to concentrate upon the positives and touch upon the negatives of the second half.

"I think you'll see a different performance up at Newcastle. We spoke about getting the lines tighter between the different parts of the team and making sure we're on the front foot for the entire game.

"It's an away game so we'll set up slightly differently to the way we do at home, but the lads have trained well all week and prepared well."

Haycock will be without defender Leo Chambers, who is away on international duty with England U19s in Estonia, in the week following the right-back's first-team debut in the Capital One Cup second-round victory over Cheltenham Town.

The U21s manager said Chambers' impressive bow, and that of Elliot Lee in the Barclays Premier League in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Stoke City, were credit to everyone involved in player development at the Academy of Football.

"That's what it's all about. There are lots of people involved in the Academy, from coaches to scouts and kit men to the people who run the Academy House and they all get a pat on the back for those debuts. We're a big family and that's how we look at it.

"I'm delighted for Leo because he has worked hard and it's the first rung of the ladder of him trying to assert himself in the first-team squad. He knows he has to keep working hard every day. He's now gone away with England so he won't be available for the game up at Newcastle, but he deserves all the accolades he got.

"Elliot got a little feel for the Premier League on Saturday and he'll have benefitted from that, but he was back in training on Sunday preparing for Newcastle."

Following Monday's meeting with the Magpies, Haycock will take a team to Colchester United for a friendly match on Thursday evening. With the first-team squad playing RCD Espanyol in Spain on the same evening, a number of younger players will be given the opportunity to play at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

"Thursday night is literally giving lads who have not been playing regularly some minutes on the pitch. All those will get 90 minutes on Thursday. It's nice of Colchester to put the game on and I expect they will do similar and one or two of their first-team squad who have not been starting will also play.

"Where we can, we'll put a bit of experience in there just to strengthen the team up, but it's more a minute-protocol game rather than a game we're looking to do anything else with."

Both the Newcastle and Colchester matches will be covered with live text commentary on whufc.com, while highlights and reaction will be available after each on West Ham TV.

Meanwhile, Pelly Mpanzu, or Ruddock as you may know him, is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Development Squad member Leo Chambers who made his Hammers debut in last Tuesday night's win over Cheltenham Town.

The defender was an unused substitute in the Capital One Cup victory, but had he made an appearance would have carried the name Mpanzu on the back of his shirt.

He told West Ham TV: "People call me Pelly Ruddock, but yes it's Mpanzu."

Having cleared that up, the strong centre-back was keen to praise team-mate Chambers, and was also happy at being included in Tuesday's squad by manager Sam Allardyce.

"Leo didn't have a great pre-season, missing a few games but hopefully he's back on track now and he had a great game against Cheltenham so I'm very happy for him.

"It gives me great confidence that the manager is seeing stuff in me, so hopefully I can continue playing well for the development team and get a few chances in the first team."

The 20-year-old was in confident mood ahead of the Development Squad's next match against Newcastle on Monday.

The team suffered their first defeat of the season last time out after they let a two goal lead slip against Tottenham, Mpanzu says that result will drive the team on to do better in their upcoming fixture.

"We were disappointed. We were 2-0 up and we should have won the game.

"We should have scored more in the first half but Spurs came back very well in the second-half and scored three goals so we were quite disappointed.

"It's a long trip up there on Sunday but hopefully we can get the three points in the bag for when we come back on Monday."

Nick Haycock's side could have been out of sight by half-time had they taken their chances and that's something which Mpanzu is keen to make sure doesn't happen again when they take on the Magpies.

"We need to kill off the game when we have a lead," he added.

"We need to finish our chances as we had three or four good opportunities to go three or four nil up, so hopefully we can score the goals that will win us the game on Monday."