West Ham U23s ‘will love’ London Stadium outing
PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 February 2020
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West Ham United under-23s head coach Dmitri Halajko is hoping his players rise to the occasion at London Stadium on Monday.
The development squad play host to their Stoke City rivals in a Premier League 2 Division Two clash at the iconic venue, looking to maintain their lead over Manchester United at the top of the table.
Unbeaten so far this season, having played fixtures on training grounds and main stadia, they will play the first of three such matches at the home of the Hammers first tea.
Halajko told whufc.com: "They'll love it. They'll really be looking forward to playing at London Stadium.
"It's obviously a nice pitch, which will help us hopefully play some good football.
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"I know our lads are looking forward to it, it's our first game there this year and we've got another two to come after it, so that shuold add something hopefully even more special to it.
"Stoke are a really tough opposition. They're in and around the play-offs at the moment, so it's got all the makings for a top-class game."
Stoke are currently in fourth place, while the Hammers ran out 4-2 winners over Sunderland at the Academy of Light in their last match, after scoring three late goals in four minutes.
Halajko hopes to see as many supporters as possible in the 60,000 capacity ground to cheer on his side, adding: "It's a nice environment for the U23s to play in, under the lights, in our first-team stadium.
"That's where they want to test themselves whenever possible, so given that opportunity, we're confident we'll acquit ourselves well.
"Hopefully we're going to get a few people watching as well."
Tickets for Monday's match, which starts at 7pm, are free for season ticket holders and Claret members, while non-members can get tickets for £5 (adults) and £3 (over-65/under-21).