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West Ham boss hints at regular role for youngster as key men miss out at Aston Villa

PUBLISHED: 10:08 08 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:10 08 May 2015

Reece Burke of West Ham on his Premier League debut

Reece Burke of West Ham on his Premier League debut

Archant

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce expects youngster Reece Burke to start once again in defence as injuries effect the Hammers side.

Burke, who won the Young Hammer of the Year at the club’s award night in midweek, has featured in recent weeks and impressed Allardyce and West Ham fans.

Blooding academy stars has been tough for Big Sam but he is reaping the rewards with Burke, in an area the Hammers have struggled in this season with Winston Reid, James Tomkins and James Collins all missing significant parts of the season.

Tomkins and Reid miss out again against Aston Villa and so 18-year-old Burke is set to start.

“James Collins and Reece Burke have done fantastically, but we have missed our two leading goalscorers,” Allardyce said.

“We’ve missed Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho in recent weeks, but we’ve coped magnificently in missing James Tomkins and Winston Reid.

“James Tomkins is very close to joining back in with the squad and Winston Reid just misses out for this one.”

Allardyce is looking to finish the season with a bang and follow up last weeks’ win over Burnley at Villa Park this Saturday.

Discussions over Allardyce’s future are set to take place at the end of the season with his contract expiring in June.

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