Allardyce praises West Ham youngsters

West Ham's youngsters could continue to be the cornerstone of their march towards Wembley in the Capital One Cup after again impressing boss Sam Allardyce in the 2-0 victory at Burnley.

The Hammers booked their place in the last eight with two second-half penalties from Matt Taylor and substitute Jack Collison consigning the Championship leaders, who had Keith Treacy sent off in the closing seconds, to their first loss since August.

With a potential Wembley trip now a step closer, Allardyce will need to consider whether he opts for more experienced players in the quarter-finals yet there was no indication that would be the case when he lauded his younger performers at Turf Moor.

Defender Pelly Ruddock was handed his West Ham debut while teengers Daniel Potts and Leo Chambers also caught Allardyce's eye.

And the manager is keen to see that a club with such a proud tradition of developing players continues that ethos.

"The Capital One Cup is a very, very good competition for us playing players, ones that are desperate to get in the first team," he said. "When I have a team of youngsters in the under-21s and my coach comes in week on week and marks them down and gives me a report saying seven, eight, nine, nine, eight, eight, nine and they're top of the under-21 league, winning every week, I have to do something about it. I have to give them a chance.

"This was their big chance. Three players, all defenders, Pelly Ruddock, Dan Potts and Leo Chambers, can feel very proud of themselves, what they've done. They were three of our back four in the last 15, 20 minutes or so."

That trio was part of nine changes Allardyce made for a clash which came just two days after their trip to Swansea. In truth, though, West Ham were perhaps indebted to substitutes Collison, Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan for denying Burnley an 11th straight League Cup scalp at Turf Moor.

"The introduction of first Jack Collison at half-time then Stewart Downing, then Kevin Nolan as the game went on meant our quality of player got better and our quality of passing got better and better," said Allardyce. "In the end we were very, very happy that we won and I'm very happy with the team and the effort the players put in."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was left to rue referee Robert Madley's decision to award the first penalty, with Clarets captain Jason Shackell seemingly winning the ball from Nolan fairly.

Nevertheless, he was happy to see his team perform admirably against a side who they could be facing in the Barclays Premier League next year if their current form continues.

"We were excellent first half and created a number of half-decent chances," said Dyche. "Against a club like West Ham you have to take those chances to earn the right to win a football match. We didn't quite do that and second half they came out played longer and stronger and got on top of us.

"Then, when it settled down, I thought we delivered some good stuff again second half, enough to arguably get in front, and then a big decision changes it."