Bywater eager for more goals

Kieran Bywater is keen to add another goal to his tally when the Under-18s journey to Leicester City in the Barclays U18 Premier League on Saturday.

The free-scoring midfielder struck the opener in a 3-0 demolition of London rivals Arsenal as the U18s recorded their sixth straight victory last time out.

While his shot may have benefited from a sizable deflection, the goal still goes down as Bywater's 17th of the season and the 18-year-old has set his sights on more strikes in the immediate future.

He told West Ham TV: "I'm looking to get as many goals as I can from now until the end of the season. For the team, it helps massively if I'm getting assists as well.

"My goal at the weekend was a good one to get, although it did take a massive deflection but you've got to be in those situations to score goals.

"At the beginning of the season I set myself a target of 15 goals and now that I've surpassed that, I just want to keep pushing on. I want to keep scoring and hopefully I can push on into the Under-21s."

Bywater's goals have undoubtedly been a factor in Steve Potts' sides rise to second in the league table, but the team's miserly defence have also been attracting plaudits.

Just once has Sam Howes had to pick the ball out of his own net in the last six matches, and U18s captain Bywater feels the whole team has played their part in the defensive effort.

"We're in good form at the minute and we're managing to get good results as well. A lot of credit goes to the defenders as we've kept a lot of clean sheets recently.

"All the lads, from the front to the back, all the players have added to the defensive unit. The defenders obviously take great credit for the great defensive record that we have.

"Six wins on the bounce is very good form so everyone is just concentrating on the next game and not thinking about the previous games as we build up to playing Leicester on Saturday."

The young Hammers have already enjoyed success over the Foxes this season, scoring a 2-1 win at Little Heath back in December 2013.

On that day Bywater scored the winner, as well as assisting the first goal, and he feels confident of helping the U18s to another victory against their opponents, but admits it will be a tough game.

"It was quite a tight game last time, they defended in numbers and tried to play on the counter-attack and I think we've got to be prepared for that again.

"They're at home this time so it could be a different game, but we'll just have to try and exert our game on them and hopefully get a good performance and another win.

"The lads are just focused on winning games at the moment. We're just concentrating on getting the wins at the moment and not many of the lads pay much attention to the league table at present. We know we're doing well so we've just got to keep winning games and performing well."