Potts pleased with thumping win

Steve Potts was left delighted after watching West Ham United's impressive 5-0 Barclays Under-18 Premier League victory over Liverpool at Little Heath.

The Hammers were on fire throughout the first half heading into the break 3-0 up thanks to a brilliant free-kick from Kieran Bywater and further goals from Jordan Brown and Reece Burke.

West Ham found their ruthless touch to go further ahead through Brown and Bywater's second goals to end the game as clear and deserved winners.

Potts was happy with both the way the team played and the outcome of the match.

"Well it wasn't far off being the perfect performance and result", said Potts. "To go and get a result like that against Liverpool, I don't think you can really ask for much more.

"During the week, we said to the boys that recently they haven't ended up getting the results they deserved based on their performances, but on Saturday they did exactly what we were looking for.

"They have all been training really well and showed it by how ruthless they were."

Despite the Hammers showing a cutting edge that they have missed previously this season, Potts still believes that his team need to work hard on that area of their game.

"They haven't cracked it properly yet, but by beating Liverpool 5-0, they showed how ruthless they can be. That is what these boys have to have about their game at this level.

"The general performances are really good, but you win and lose games by how ruthless you are at both ends. Liverpool had some opportunities, but we scored five goals and deservedly won the match."

Saturday's game saw the Hammers score five well-taken goals, including one audacious strike from midfielder Bywater that appeared to be a cross from the right which caught out Liverpool goalkeeper Andrew Firth at the far post.

Potts believes that the build-up play from his team was just as impressive as the way the moves were finished off.

"You can't argue with the ball being in the back of the opposing net five times can you? Then again, it isn't all about how you put the ball in the net, it is also about what happens in the build-up play and they boys played some lovely football, I can't fault anyone.

"Kieran said in the dressing room after the game that he meant it. He looked up, realised no-one was in the box but still went for it. If Kieran says that he meant it, then for me, it was a fantastic finish."

On several occasions, the Hammers almost allowed Liverpool back into the game but Potts is adamant that the team will learn from the slightly sloppy areas of their performance.

"We did really well to go out in the first half, dominate and take our three goals well. When we came back out for the second half, we did really well to keep up the level of performance and continue scoring goals. After that, our focus switched to whether we could keep the clean sheet just to top it all off.

"Looking at the chances Liverpool created, some of them were of our own making because we were a little sloppy in areas, but we will look back on the DVD in training and try to cut them out."

Keeping the spirit after only winning one out of their opening six fixtures this season has been one of the toughest jobs for the Hammers' U18s manager.

After a team meeting last week and beating Liverpool 5-0, Potts believes that the focus now has to be on getting the right result in their next fixture at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday 5 October.

"We had a meeting during the week where we told the lads that they had to keep believing and keep positive about the way they have been performing both at training and in matches.

"Now, they will have a slightly different mind-set thinking they have cracked it because they have had a good result.

"I think the spotlight is now on how they prepare for and perform next week because the best players at this age have the ability to keep performances and results up every week.

"All I am really looking for is for them to come in with a positive mind-set, work hard in training and then hopefully we will go to West Brom next week and get the result that our preparation deserves."

U18s: Howes, Knoyle (Amoo), Harney, Burke (Onariase), Page, Cullen, Makasi (Mavila), Nasha, Bywater, Parfitt-Williams, Brown
Subs not used: Nemrava, Martins