U21s to host Tractor Boys

Following on from Sunday's 1-1 draw away to Manchester City, Nick Haycock's Development Squad host Ipswich Town in a behind closed doors friendly on Thursday.

Despite three good performances in the Barclays U21 Premier League so far, the Hammers have only got one point for their efforts following defeats at Tottenham Hotspur and at home to Southampton.

The friendly will give Development Squad players much-needed match time ahead of their next league fixture with Liverpool on 12 September.

Speaking after Sunday's match in Salford, Haycock explained: "The Ipswich game is purely for players who need minutes. You have to make sure you have a healthy squad and we may put some youth-team players into the game as well, although they have a tournament at the weekend."

West Ham have a proud history of producing young, talented players. This tradition continued against Sheffield United in the League Cup defeat as Development Squad members Reece Burke, Dan Potts, Raphael Spiegel, Reece Oxford, Elliot Lee and Lewis Page all featured in the first-team squad.

Haycock is keen to continue this emphasis on using young players and will use the friendly against Ipswich to give a wide selection of youth players' valuable minutes on the pitch.

One player who is likely to feature is 18-year-old defensive midfielder Amos Nasha, who made his first appearance of the season for the Development Squad against City.

As Haycock explained: "You saw when Amos Nasha went on against Manchester City that he was blowing a little bit out there, but the first thing he said afterwards was 'I want to play on Thursday again Nick, no problem'. That's what we'll do."

Other players who could feature include Blair Turgott, Matthias Fanimo, Taylor Tombides, Ben Marlow, Jaanai Gordon and striker Sean Maguire, who has recently returned from a summer loan spell with League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers.

Haycock will be without regular Dev Squad members such as Kieran Sadlier and Josh Cullen who are on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U21 and U19 squads respectively.

"We have a few internationals away, so we've given the lads here a couple of days of hard training, give them an intense session, have a weekend off, then four days into Liverpool looking forward to playing in front of a good crowd at the Boleyn Ground," Haycock explained.

The Development Squad contest their next Barclays U21 Premier League fixture on Friday 12 September, when they welcome Liverpool to the Boleyn Ground for a 7pm kick-off.

For updates, reaction and matchday coverage from all Development Squad fixtures, click here.

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