West Ham boss Zola boosted by the form of young Freddie Sears

Freddie Sears

Teenage dreams: Sears could get his chance

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has been encouraged by the performances of Freddie Sears and could turn to the youngster for this weekend's clash at Fulham.  

Sears, 18, put in one of the better displays in the Carling Cup defeat to Watford this week, taking advantage of his opportunity while Dean Ashton, Craig Bellamy and Carlton Cole were sidelined through injury.  

Next for the Hammers is Craven Cottage on Saturday when they will look to keep up with their fellow Premier League pacesetters, having taken nine points from their first five games.  

David di Michele inspired the victory over Newcastle last weekend, with Sears adding to the competition in attack as West Ham look for the first away win of the season.  

'Freddie has done very well,' said Zola. 'Unfortunately he missed a couple of chances against Watford but he did well.  

'We can't be too demanding on him, but I am pleased with the way he tried to play. He is going to get better and I'm sure he is going to have a bright future.'  

Robert Green is expected to be recalled following Jan Lastuvka's blunder at Vicarage Road, while Walter Lopez made a promising debut at left-back. Scott Parker is also likely to return to the starting XI.

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