Lee heads for home

Elliot Lee is relishing the opportunity to play in his home city when West Ham United take on Newcastle United in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Monday.

The striker, who made his Barclays Premier League debut as a substitute in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Stoke City, was born on Tyneside while his father Rob played for the Magpies in the 1990s.

Now 18, Lee junior is hoping to enjoy a happy homecoming when the Hammers face Newcastle at the Northumberland FA ground at Whitley Park, with kick-off at 1pm. The young forward has already scored twice in three U21 matches this season, with both goals coming in the 3-0 home win over Aston Villa. Since then, West Ham have won 2-1 at Everton and lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

"I'm really excited to be going back to my hometown where I was born," he told West Ham TV. "The most important thing is to get a result and hopefully I can get a few goals for myself.

"We've only had one bad half against Tottenham and that caused our only defeat, so I think we've had a decent start. Hopefully we can move on and get three points against Newcastle."

Lee was naturally proud to have made his Barclays Premier League debut at the weekend, but admitted to being disappointed to finish on the losing side against Stoke. The teenager had previously made his first-team bow in the Hammers' FA Cup third-round replay defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford in January.

With the transfer window closing on Monday evening, Lee is hoping he will be given the chance to show he can bolster Sam Allardyce's striking options on a regular basis.

"On a personal level, I'm obviously really happy to have made my Premier League debut, but on a team level it's disappointing that we lost at home to Stoke.

"It's obviously much harder than the Development Squad level, but I'm proud that the Gaffer has trusted me by chucking me on at Old Trafford and again on Saturday. It's a shame about the result, but if I can keep progressing and doing well then hopefully I'll get a bit longer next time.

"You get days like Saturday and Stoke are a tough team to beat. They are very organised and it just wasn't our day, so we'll move onto the next one.

"We don't usually lose at home and obviously everyone is disappointed with the result, so we'll go into the international break and then down to Southampton [on 15 September] and I'm sure we'll get a result."

During the break, Big Sam will take his first-team squad to Spain for a meeting with Primera Division club RCD Espanyol on Thursday 5 September - a game Lee is itching to be involved in after previously travelling to Portugal with the seniors in August.

"First of all, I'll be travelling to Newcastle on Monday with the Under-21s, but hopefully I can go to Spain and play against Espanyol. With Andy Carroll coming back from injury, hopefully I can get myself up the pecking order [and play alongside him]."