Dicks targets maiden home win

West Ham United Ladies manager Julian Dicks says he could not be more determined to win his first home league game in charge.

Tottenham Hotspur will be the visitors to Aveley FC's Mill Field on Thursday evening. Then, not only will Hammers legend Dicks be leading his team out for the first time at their new headquarters, but they will be seeking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 League Cup first-round defeat at Keynsham Town.

The result was doubly disappointing considering the Hammers had started their FA Women's Premier League Southern Division campaign with a 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers. As a result, Dicks has urged his team to give everything to get one over their local rivals.

"Some of the players on the pitch will need to start taking more responsibility and dominate people more," demanded The Terminator. "Some of them are too nice!"

"I was never known as being a nice person on the pitch, but where my team mates were concerned; I'd be there to look after them. My team are not doing that. I know that I've got some good players here but they have to believe in that too. It's about being a team and for me, there are too many individuals and some are too nice.

"You have to be able to demand things on the pitch from your team mates and be together on the pitch. Last week they were together and got the result, but this week they weren't!

Against Keynsham, West Ham simply did not take their chances and build on the first-half lead given to them by summer signing Emma Sherwood. Instead, they allowed their Somerset-based hosts to turn the tie on its head after the break.

"It was a tough result to take considering that in the first 20 minutes, the girls should've been about 4-0 up," confessed Dicks. "We had so many chances but it's the same as the game before at QPR, although last week we luckily came through it with a result but we didn't this time.

"For the second half, we came out and played quite sloppy and to be honest, they bossed us! They got themselves about, won their headers and tackles and in the end it was a fair result.

"We do shooting and crossing in training every week, but it's different in training. In games is where it really matters. It's not just the forwards because we are a team but when those chances come, we need to be putting them away.

"In training, we pass the ball for fun but when it comes to a game, especially this one, it was like a ping pong match! The ball was just rattling everywhere! It's now about me working with the team during training to make things right before we face Spurs on Thursday."

Striker Sherwood netted her first competitive goal for the Hammers at Keynsham, but that did not make up for the frustration of losing the tie.

"It was a terrible day at the office for the team," admitted Sherwood. "In the first half, we started well and created our chances but some of us didn't take those chances. We came out for the second half like we thought we were going to win and it just didn't work out for us in the second half.

"We all know what went wrong now though so we can work on it during training on Tuesday and then put the record straight by smashing Tottenham on Thursday."

Sherwood has now netted an impressive six goals in five games since joining from Millwall Lionesses and wants to add to that tally on Thursday evening.

"It's important from a striker's point of view to make sure that you keep scoring," she continued. "That's six goals in five games now for me which isn't bad but obviously I need to make sure that I continue scoring so that we start getting the results we deserve.

"Everyone has got a point to prove now to show that the defeat was a one off and show what we are capable of. The big players in the squad need to step up now and against Spurs, if we can get at them quickly and get an early goal then I think we will be back to our better form."

Kick-off against Spurs on Thursday is at 7.45pm at Aveley FC's Mill Field Stadium, with admission just £4 for Adults and £2 for U16s.