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West Ham United midfielder Kieran Bywater is optimistic ahead the Development Squad's game with Sunderland at the Boleyn Ground on Monday evening.

The 19-year-old has continued his good form from last season where he scored 17 goals in 30 appearances for the U18s, by netting against Tottenham in the opening game of this season.

The Dev Squad are still searching for their first win after five league games, however Bywater is confident their first win is not far away.

Assessing the season so far, Bywater said: "We feel we should have more points than we've got. In our first couple of games we played well but were unlucky not to get a win. Then we had a blip against Liverpool but otherwise we've done ok. I'm really looking forward to the game against Sunderland on Monday night."

Bywater's performances last season saw him nominated for the Dylan Tombides Award, given the club's outstanding Academy scholar for 2013/14. Although he missed out on that to Josh Cullen, Bywater's efforts were rewarded later in the summer as he signed his first professional contract.

Speaking about how his transition from U18 to U21 football went, he said: "I found it pretty comfortable to be honest. I played a few U21 games when I was 17. So now I've played quite a few U21 matches. I'm trying to stamp my mark on U21 football and I'll try to push on from there."

Last time out the Dev Squad put in a good performance as they drew 1-1 away with Fulham: "Yeah I think we played well. We were much more solid than we were in the previous game against Liverpool. We had a lot more passes but we still could have moved it quicker. I was played in a slightly different position so it was about adapting to that."

Speaking about his excitement at playing at the Boleyn Ground again, Bywater said: "Yes it's always exciting. Hopefully we'll get a win and that will help us push on for rest of the season. So I'm definitely looking forward to that."

Sunderland have also struggled at the start of this season having taken four points from their first four games. However, they beat Tottenham 2-1 in their last match as they look to get their season back on track.

"I think it will be a tough game. All the games this year have been tough games, they all are at this level. We have to be on our game and concentrate. I'm ready to give a good performance for the team and try and get a win.

In the same fixture last season, Bywater scored a last minute winner that sealed West Ham's status as an U21 Premier League Division One team.

Bywater remembers the game well: "It was the last game of the season -  it was meant to be a cross but it got a deflection. They credited me with the goal so that was nice. I've scored once this season so hopefully I can add that too. It can only benefit the team if I have a good performance."

West Ham play Sunderland on Monday at the Boleyn Ground, with kick-off at 7pm. Tickets are priced at £4 for adults and £2 for U16s. Admission for season tickets holders is FREE.