Matt Beard: Squad fitness, depth and Everton
Matt Beard is anticipating a good test for his West Ham United side when they travel to face Everton on Sunday.
The Irons return to Barclays FA Women’s Super League action away to a Toffees side that have won all three of their league matches so far, scoring eleven goals without reply.
The head coach knows Willie Kirk’s team will be a difficult opponent on this weekend but feels his Hammers side have the quality to compete with the best teams in the division.
Everton have a lot of experience in their squad so it will be a difficult challenge, but I feel with the team we’ve built here, we can compete with anyone.
“Everton will be a tough game,” Beard told whufc.com. “They’ve started well and they’ve recruited really well. They have a lot of experience in their squad so it will be a difficult challenge, but I feel with the team we’ve built here, we can compete with anyone.
“We have our own high aspirations to challenge in those top five positions. We can see where we are come Christmas and hopefully, we are in a strong place.”
The Irons have been without Martha Thomas and Hawa Cissoko due to knocks since the start of the season, and head coach Beard has clarified the situation surrounding the current injuries in his squad.
With Katerina Svitkova, Laura Vetterlein and Cho So-hyun all also absent due to knocks, Beard is hopeful of having a fully fit squad to choose from when his team returns from the international break.
He continued: “After the international break we’re going to hopefully have everyone back fit, which will be great for us.
“If you look at the talent we’ve got missing right now in Martha Thomas, Hawa Cissoko, Cho So-hyun, Laura Vetterlein and Katerina Svitkova, we’re without five players who would be fighting for a place in the starting XI.
“The depth in our squad is good though. We did well on Wednesday and we did well against Reading too, albeit we didn’t take our chances. I think that shows the depth we have in the group now and that everyone has a role to play.
“This is a group that is really together, and things do take a little time. We all need to be patient and their relationships will develop, and we can compete with any team in this division.”