West Ham United Women v Millwall Lionesses
West Ham United head coach Matt Beard says he can see plenty of positives in his side’s 4-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses.
Two goals from Esmee De Graaf and strikes by Brianna Visalli and Rosie Kmita saw the Hammers defeat Millwall on Sunday, securing a second straight win in the Continental Tyres Cup.
The result seemed in the bag after the first 12 minutes, with West Ham netting the first three goals in that period, and Beard was delighted with how his side came flying out of the traps.
“We were really pleased with the start of the game,” Beard told whufc.com. “We worked all week on finishing from crosses and playing around the box, so we’re really pleased with some of the goals that we scored. It’s pleasing to get early goals and start like we did, and the other positive is to get a clean-sheet as well.
There's plenty of positives to take from this game. It was another good team performance.
“I think it was good for Rosie and Ria to get starts today. We’re trying to manage the squad with three games in seven days. Kate Longhurst had a really good game today. A lot of our play went through her and I was really pleased with her performance. There’s plenty of positives to take from this game. It was another good team performance.”
De Graaf put the Irons in front on six minutes before Visalli’s strike from outside the area found the top corner. On 12 minutes, West Ham had their third, with Kmita coolly turning home from close range.
Beard continued: “I think, after we went 3-0 up, we were a little sloppy for a 20-minute period, where we stopped moving the ball and interchange wasn’t as good as I would have liked it. Millwall have come here though and sat off us, and it’s difficult to break teams down that do that.
“We said to players at half-time about good habits. We were doing things that we wouldn’t normally do, and we can’t let that set in at any point. If we do bits like that in other games, we will get punished. It’s about doing the right thing and I think, in the second half, we did that especially well. On another day, we would have scored another two or three goals.”
With West Ham returning to action after almost three weeks without a match, Beard was especially pleased with his team showing their ability both on and off the pitch in the past few days.
He added: “The girls have shown a lot of professionalism. The key thing is, when you have players away on international duty, that they come back healthy. We’ve been keeping the intensity and tempo in training.
“It’s really pleasing to see some of those things starting to come off. We’ve got a good group of players here, which makes the job really enjoyable and really easy at times.”