Claire Rafferty says the score in the Irons defeat to Manchester City did not reflect the team’s overall performance, but knows that West Ham can compete with top teams.
City scored on 15 minutes through Caroline Weir, then 24 minutes later when Lauren Hemp lifted the ball over Anna Moorhouse. Ross netted just after half-time after putting some great pressure on the City defence. However, Nikita Parris secured the points in the closing stages.
Rafferty was naturally disappointed with the score line, but was happy with the team’s performance: “I don’t think the score once again reflected the game.
She said: “We conceded a couple of goals where we maybe just switched off, or just some poor decisions. They’re all individual errors rather than them breaking us down, which is unfortunate because I think we kept them at bay most of the game.”
I just think we need to be a little more switched on and a bit more clinical when we do get our chances, because against that kind of team they’re going to come few and far between.
The Irons had their chances in the game, but failed to take their chances, with Alisha Lehmann sending a shot over the bar and Gilly Flaherty having her header cleared off of the line.
The defender continued: “I think we possessed the game a lot, it felt like that during the game. I just think we need to be a little more switched on and a bit more clinical when we do get our chances, because against that kind of team they’re going to come few and far between, so we do really need to try and execute them.”
After a difficult week, which saw the Hammers lose to Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City, the No11 says the Irons have learned a lot from their fixtures.
She continued: “I think we showed the desire to not give up. It was very important that we came out and got that first goal after half-time.
“It’s just knowing that we can compete against these teams, we’ve done it against Arsenal twice and it’s just kind of a confidence boost.”
The result means that the Hammers have lost their opening three games of 2019 and will be looking to bounce back after the international break, when players will be returning from injuries.
Rafferty added: “It will be nice to get the group back fit, there’s a lot of people coming back from injuries. So, to have a full bench and get everyone in training will be good. I know it’s the international break, but after that it’ll be nice to come back together and regroup.”