Matt Beard pulled no punches in his assessment of West Ham United’s defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
The Irons lost 8-0 in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League to a Blues side fighting for the title, conceding three in the first half through Mejan Mjelde, Bethany England and Sophie Ingle.
Both Mjelde and Ingle would score again while Ramona Bachmann, Erin Cuthbert and Emily Murphy also found the net for Chelsea.
We’re desperately disappointed and we’re embarrassed with the score-line. We shouldn’t be getting beat that way.
“We’re desperately disappointed and we’re embarrassed with the score-line,” Beard said. “It shouldn’t happen at this level but you see the top three – Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City – do this to a lot of teams.
“The resource and the players they’ve got, and the players they brought off the bench when they were in complete control of the game, it’s frustrating. We shouldn’t be getting beat that way. We’ve got better players than the score-line suggests and what our performance today suggests.”
The Irons were without three key players for Sunday’s match in Adriana Leon and Cho So-hyun, who are both away for Olympic qualifiers, while Martha Thomas is unavailable due to injury.
Beard acknowledged that the absence of the trio makes things more difficult but says it cannot be used as an excuse for the result.
He continued: “This was always going to be a tough period for us. We have struggled for confidence since we came back from Christmas.
“I’ve lost Leon and Cho to Olympic qualification, and then Martha Thomas does her knee. We can’t catch a break at certain things, but the result is frustrating.”
With another tough game next Sunday, against Manchester City, Beard knows a reaction is essential from his side in the coming days.
Beard added: “At the end of the day, we didn’t deserve anything today. The players have got to react and respond. We can’t let this happen again.
“It doesn’t get any easier; we’ve got Man City next week. We’ve collectively, as a group, got to move forward.”