West Ham United Ladies interim head coach Karen Ray has expressed her frustration with the team’s 0-0 draw against Gillingham on Sunday.
The Ladies began 2018 with a home game against the side that bested them 1-0 on the opening day of the season, in a match void of quality chances or indeed noteworthy incident.
While a share of the points was a better result than the reverse fixture against the Gills, Ray is still disappointed with large aspects of the team’s performance at Rush Green.
“It was a very frustrating game, and I am not someone who can hide their emotions,” Ray told whufc.com. “I don’t think the girls were close to being at their best and that is hard for us all to accept. We all know what we are capable of and if we aren’t going to perform well we still need to find a way to win.
“I am far from satisfied with the performance; a lot of players were below their usual level.”
It was a very frustrating game and I am not someone who can hide their emotions...I am far from satisfied with the performance.
Goalscoring opportunities were at a premium for both sides in a tricky contest over the weekend. The Hammers came closest thanks to efforts from Chloe Burr and Andria Georgiou, while Gillingham saw a free-kick drift just wide of the woodwork.
While Ray was understandably concerned about the team’s quality in attack the General Manager was delighted with how her side held firm to keep a clean-sheet.
Ray continued: “We managed to give Gillingham very little goal scoring opportunities, which is a credit to the defensive group. However, we have to produce more quality going forward, particularly in and around the final third. Getting shots on target and being clinical in front of goal is a must, we need to attack with purpose.
“Taking a point today and being disappointed shows that as a team our expectations and aspirations are high. I don’t want to take anything away from Gillingham as they showed great resilience and frustrated us. They made it difficult for us to break them down, so credit to them.”
The 0-0 against Gillingham was West Ham Ladies’ first game in a number of weeks, after a festive break, but the Hammers went into the match without a number of first team players.
Ray reckons the inclusion of these names could have turned the fixture in West Ham’s favour but has called on the side to show more character ahead of the next clash, away to Brislington.
“We have players still away as this game was added to our schedule late on, as well as a couple of injuries, and I think with a couple of those players here today it could have been different,” Ray added.
“But I also believe we need to show character. If we’re going to win games in this league, we have to have different sides to us – we have to find a way to win even when we are not playing well and we have to find a way to score when we aren’t on fire.”
“It comes down to mentality; you have to be accountable for what happens when you cross the white line and as staff we need to search for what we could have done differently and rectify it for this weekend.”