Gilly Flaherty says West Ham United women’s team need to look in the mirror and use Sunday’s 5-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City as a wake-up call.
The Irons were thoroughly beaten by City at the Academy Stadium and head into a two-game week, with Lewes coming to Rush Green Stadium on Wednesday in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup before Reading travel to east London in the FA Women’s Super League.
Flaherty admitted this weekend’s efforts by the Hammers simply were not up to the required level and says the team must improve before this week’s matches.
As players, we have to take ownership. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and reflect on our performance. It wasn't good enough.
“It’s really hard to put into words,” Flaherty said. “We’re disappointed. I feel like we went 1-0 down so early on and it makes a rod for your own back. It’s so hard to come here anyway.
“I feel like we did better in the second half but, us as players, we have to take ownership. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and reflect on our performances. It wasn’t good enough. Everyone is deflated with this result and this performance. We need to take a long, hard look at ourselves.
“We’ve still got a long way to go. It’s easy to be negative after a result like this. Last year, we came here and lost 7-1, and that was our game changing performance. It kicked us on and was a wake-up today. We need to use it as a wake-up call as well.”
With the team 4-0 down at half-time against City, the Irons were improved in the second half, something Flaherty feels is a small consolation.
The captain feels the team need to be less fearful and show their quality if they are to achieve their potential of battling at the top end of the table.
She added: “I said in our half-time huddle that we had to forget about the first half and go out and win the second half. We didn’t do it, but it was more positive.
“It isn’t about showing less respect, but we need to get in team’s faces. The players that we have in this team, our results and performances don’t reflect that ability. I haven’t signed for this club to be a mid-table team or battling relegation.
“There’s a lot of players here with a lot of experience, with a lot of winners medals. That means nothing when you step out on the pitch. We need to get results.”