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Tomkins: The future's bright

05 Apr 2009 17:30:00

Tomkins: The future's bright

West Ham youngster James Tomkins insists there is plenty more talent to emerge from the club's academy thanks to the work of Tony Carr. Carr has been granted a testimonial for overseeing the youngsters at Upton Park - and England boss Fabio Capello should be thankful too as Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick are among the players who have come through the system. When Gianfranco Zola was appointed Hammers manager this season he promised there would be no change in philosophy, and a recent injury crisis means he has to rely on his homegrown talent. Junior Stanislas, 19, marked his first start with a goal against Sunderland, with Tomkins adding the second to keep Zola's men in the hunt for a place in the Europa League. "We've had a lot of vital players who have been injured so it is a chance for youngsters to impress," Tomkins said. "There are more coming through, Josh (Payne) and Junior, there are a lot of good youngsters here and good backroom staff that are helping us through. "You can see the challenge from the players that have come through at the club, these massive players like Cole and Ferdinand. They are brilliant players and Tony Carr has a lot to do with it. "You get your chance here which is brilliant." Stanislas was told he was playing just two hours before kick-off against Sunderland, so sent a text message to his friends to come to Upton Park. When he tapped in the opening goal he celebrated by pointing to his mates in the crowd. "The manager just said to me to clear my mind and go out and play my normal game," the youngster said. "Gianfranco and Clarkey (Steve Clarke) have come in and got the boys playing well, they've put a lot of confidence back into the squad so it's looking good." Zola had seen Stanislas score a hat-trick against Chelsea in the reserves and also play for England Under-20s ahead of the Sunderland clash. With Carlton Cole, Scott Parker and Radoslav Kovac injured, Stanislas' call-up was such a rush that he found himself singing West Ham's famous "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" song as he was about to play. "I was singing Bubbles as I waited in the tunnel with the rest of the team," he said. Stanislas grew up in Kidbrooke, not far from where Ferdinand grew up.He added: "I'm not sure what it is about south London but I can tell you there is a lot of talent coming off the streets. "It was a great debut but the boys here will keep my feet on the ground, they won't let me enjoy it too much - trust me! West Ham's win left Sunderland one place above the relegation zone and without a win in six matches. "Of course there is still belief, there is no doubting that," said midfielder Dean Whitehead. "We have got some good international players but we have got a big fight on our hands now and we have got to stand up and be counted. "Next for Ricky Sbragia's men is Manchester United. "They don't come any easier than that!" Whitehead joked. "But after that game we have got Hull and West Brom and we are looking to win both of those games."


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