Potts plotting Villa victory

West Ham United U18 manager Steve Potts is looking forward to the opportunity of bouncing back from a first loss of the season after the 3-1 defeat by Fulham last Saturday.

The Hammers missed a spot-kick before the Cottagers roared into a three-goal lead at Motspur Park, with a second penalty converted by Alex Pike providing a late consolation.

Elijah Adebayo, Josh Walker and Stephen Humphrys got the goals for the hosts, who ended West Ham's eight-match unbeaten run to start the 2014/15 campaign.

Summarising his thoughts about the defeat ahead of Saturday's game against Aston Villa, Potts said: "It's always disappointing to get beat. Afterwards, we looked at a game as a whole and I thought we did well enough.

"In the three games before that we kept clean sheets and didn't give anything away. We've also been taking our chances in games recently.

"Last Saturday we didn't keep it tight enough at the back. We did have some chances at the other end. We had a penalty at 0-0 that didn't go in as well as a few other chances. On the day they were more clinical than us."

Saturday's opponents Aston Villa have had a tough to their season, in particular losing 12-2 to Chelsea, having been 2-0 up. However Villa responded strongly by beating Leicester 2-1 and Potts knows his U18s will have improve from last weekend's display.

"It's important they learn the lessons from last weekend. We need to be tighter at the back and sharper in front of goal. We need to move the ball around as well as we have been doing in parts of the season."

"They're a good team, I remember playing them last year. They were a very good side. We got two results against them but I think they were the better team in at least one of the games.

"They'll probably think they were unlucky not to do better in the games against us. I expect a tough game, Aston Villa always have good teams."

Following the U18s' good start to the season which included an eight game unbeaten run, five of the team featured for the Development Squad in their Barclays Premier League International Cup against Spanish giants Athletic Bilbao.

The five players involved were free scoring Jordan Brown, Djair Parfitt-Williams, Manny Onariase, Josh Pask and Grady Diangana.

Assessing their performances in the eight goal thriller, Potts said: "They did OK, I think it was difficult for them. Some of them were making their first starts for the Development Squad this year.

"A couple of them were making their first starts at the Boleyn Ground and that can be tough in itself. They will have learnt a lot of lessons from that game so going forward that will benefit them.

"We gave some poor goals away that night and made it very difficult for ourselves but there was some OK stuff in there too."

West Ham United U18s play Aston Villa on Saturday 25 October at Little Heath, kick-off is 11am.