Hannah Wheeler believes West Ham United Ladies will have to show both adaptability and smarts when the side take on Luton Town Ladies in this weekend’s FA WPL Plate final.
The Irons will play their second cup final in just under two weeks on Sunday when Karen Ray’s side travel to Cannock for the last match in the WPL Plate.
In Luton, the Hammers will be playing a side that sit in the division below – the Women’s Premier League South East – but Wheeler knows anything can happen in a one-off contest.
The defender admits there will be big differences between this final and the one won against Charlton Athletic Women last Wednesday, as the Hammers have not played against Luton before.
“It’s 90 minutes where anything can happen,” Wheeler told whufc.com: “We just can’t go into the game arrogant, or underestimating them. It will be a different game, because when we played Charlton we knew what they were about because we’ve played them three times this season.
With Luton, we’re going in blind. We haven’t played them and all we can really go by is their results. In that aspect, it will be a tough game.
“With Luton, we’re going in blind. We haven’t played them and all we can really go by is their results. In that aspect, it will be a tough game. We could have a game plan to go with but then they could change it on the day, so we are just going to have to adapt and be smart on the day really.”
The contest is a game that Wheeler is relishing participating in, with another trophy up for grabs this Sunday.
The centre-back knows what is at stake and is aware of the attributes the side need to display in the match.
She continued: “I’m really excited for this game. We need another cup. We are trying to work hard. We said this past Sunday that if we win it will be a major positive for the next game we play.
“We have got to focus on the game, work hard and put in the shifts during training so we can take it into Sunday. We have to show fire, desire and work for the badge and each other.
“We need to have each other’s backs and make sure we empty the tank!”
With West Ham Ladies taking on Luton, a side that the club have not played against this campaign, Wheeler has offered praise for the Ladies analyst Neo Charalambous, who has worked tirelessly to ensure the team are prepared for what Luton offer.
She added: “Neo’s the man behind the scenes really, with all our analysis and tactics towards games. The entire staff work really hard and try to get as much information as possible, and give us the best possible chance going into the game.
“Winning the Plate would mean everything. Everything we have been working so hard towards would just be complete.”