Beard: Bees draw ‘gives us a great idea of where we are’
Head coach Matt Beard feels West Ham United’s draw with London Bees on Sunday was the perfect indicator for the level the team is currently at.
The women’s side got their pre-season underway at the Hive with a 1-1 draw against the Championship team, with Leanne Kiernan netting for the Irons having gone behind early on.
Taking charge of the Hammers for the first time since his appointment last month, Beard was pleased with his side’s efforts in their first match of the new campaign, and how the team overcame a ‘nervy’ start to the game.
“We started as we expected because obviously it was our first game as a group together,” Beard told whufc.com. “I felt it was a little bit erratic and a bit nervy.
I felt we were excellent in that second half. You could see some of the things we were starting to work on in training, and you could start to see some relationships start to form, which was pleasing.
“As the game went on, we controlled the play, especially the second period. I felt we were excellent in that second half. You could see some of the things we were starting to work on in training, and you could start to see some relationships start to form, which was pleasing.
“A big thing for me was how we restricted their chances. Obviously, I’m disappointed to concede from a set play, but we created some good chances. In another week or two weeks’ time the chances that we’ve missed we’ll probably take.
“This game gives us a great idea of where we are and what we need to work on. I know this process is going to take time, but I was really pleased with the fitness levels.”
With Sunday’s draw the first time the Hammers have played since being accepted into the Women’s Super League for the 2018/19 campaign. Beard reckons his side will only get better over the next few weeks of pre-season.
The head coach recognises the match was a good opportunity to build fitness for both his side and London Bees, and is eager to see how his players will improve as they play more games.
He continued: “We wanted to start well with a win just to build a little bit of momentum, but, overall, I think London Bees were good today. This match was a really good test for us and the Bees deserves credit for their performance.
"Overall, I’m pleased, it was hot tough conditions, so I’m pleased with the first workout. I’m confident that, as we go throughout this pre-season and play more games, we will continue to improve.”
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