Potts wants to extend unbeaten run

West Ham United Under 18s will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they host Southampton on Saturday at Little Heath.

Last time out Steve Potts' men twice battled back from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, taking them to fifth in the Barclays U18 Premier League South Table.

Chelsea opened the scoring after just three minutes when Tammy Abraham delivered low for Kyle Scott to turn the ball beyond Clarke Bogard in the Hammers goal. West Ham levelled just before the hour when Marcus Browne lashed a volley home via the underside of the crossbar.

Chelsea's Abraham put the hosts 2-1 up with nine minutes left to play, but Jordan Brown levelled with his third of the season to earn a point.

Speaking about the Chelsea game, Potts said: "I was very pleased with them. We were 1-0 down after three minutes. As it was away to Chelsea I feared the worst. But we steadied the game in the first half, and in the second half I thought we were the better team.

"We started to control the game more and managed to bring it back to 1-1, we then had a good penalty appeal turned down. After that they went down the other end and scored. We were 2-1 down and thankfully we got the equaliser with about ten minutes to go. I was really pleased with the way the second half went."

Talking about the U18s unbeaten start to the season, Potts continued: "It's down to the boys and the way they've gone about it. They've steadily got better with what we've asked them to do.

"In the first game, we played some good football. The game went our way up at West Brom and we've had three tough games since which we deservedly got points out of them all. I thought Tottenham was very difficult for us as they had a lot of possession, but we got a draw out of the game."

The U18s have drawn their last three league matches and Potts believes a tighter defence is the key to turning one point into three: "I think we've leaked a few too many goals for my liking. Last year we had a very good defensive record and that was the springboard for a lot of good results.

"So we need to cut the defensive mistakes out. At the same time we need to take a few more of our chances. Up to now we've done fairly well, but we can still improve."

Potts' men face a Southampton side who have had a tough start to their league campaign. The Saints are currently bottom of the Barclays U18 Premier League South Group with just one point from their opening four games. However, Potts is taking nothing for granted: "

I expect another tough game because every game we play will be tough this season.

"The games we had against Southampton last year were tough and it won't be any different this time. I'm looking forward to the game and I think it will be a good test for the boys." 

Kick-off is at 12pm on Saturday at Little Heath, where both admission and parking is FREE.