Matt Beard believes his West Ham United side failed to get at Arsenal and showed them too much respect in the FA Cup defeat on Sunday.
Goals in either half saw the Irons eliminated from the competition in the fourth round, as Katie McCabe and Lia Walti netted for the Gunners.
Beard was disappointed with how his side set out in the opening exchanges of Sunday’s FA Cup contest but was pleased with the way West Ham pushed back for the majority of the second.
The difference is that they had three really good chances and scored two, and we had two really good chances and we've not scored.
“We showed Arsenal far too much respect in the first half,” Beard said. “We were worried about players on the weak side that were not going to be involved in the play. I felt we shot ourselves in the foot. We gifted them their opportunities and that was the frustrating thing.
“We worked in the week on beating Arsenal’s press, because they get six players and press you, and once you break through that, you need to stretch and get in behind. Once we’ve done that we were turning back and going backwards though. The wing-back wasn’t releasing themselves and we were causing ourselves problems.
“I felt, in the second half, we dominated until they got the second goal. But the difference is that they had three really good chances and scored two, and we had two really good chances and we've not scored. That’s what cost us the game.”
West Ham will return to action against Chelsea next weekend in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League before hosting Manchester City, and Beard believes belief will be paramount if the side are to get any points from two of the division’s leading teams.
If the Irons can do that, then West Ham will be half-way towards picking up valuable points, according to the head coach.
He added: “We just need to believe in ourselves and have a go. We needed to do what we worked on in the week. We dominated that second half period for 30 minutes, but the second goal finished the game off.
“We need to believe in ourselves against these top teams. We’ve got some very good players in this team; established internationals and winners, and we can hurt teams. We just need to believe we can beat these teams. For us, that’s half the battle.”