West Ham have the perfect blend of youth and experience to secure an instant return to the Barclays Premier League through the npower Championship play-offs, according to assistant manager Neil McDonald.

The Hammers enjoyed the perfect start to their play-off campaign, winning 2-0 at Cardiff in the first leg of the semi-final. Two Jack Collison goals gave the London outfit a huge advantage going into the return fixture at Upton Park on Monday, as West Ham bossed the majority of the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

McDonald believes combining the likes of Collison and Mark Noble, products of the Hammers' youth system, with experienced professionals like Kevin Nolan and Robert Green gives his team the edge in their promotion bid. He said: "It's good to have that balance."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms