Laura Vetterlein: We have to refocus and learn from what went wrong
Laura Vetterlein says West Ham United must learn quickly from what went wrong during their Barclays FA Women's Super League defeat to Arsenal.
The Hammers were beaten 9-1 on Saturday afternoon and the German admitted the result was a hard one to stomach, after the Irons started the game brightly, levelling through Kenza Dali's superb equaliser after the visitors had taken the lead.
The dismissal of captain Gilly Flaherty on 34 minutes – moments after Arsenal’s second goal – changed the landscape of the match but Vetterlein, who took the armband for the remainder of the game, says being down to ten players cannot be an excuse.
We have the international break now to refocus and learn from what went wrong. We have the chance to start fresh with a fresh mindset.
“I think we started the game quite well which, when you look at the final result, can be quite hard to believe,” Vetterlein said. “It was game-changing when we lost Gilly. It’s unfortunate but it shouldn’t be an excuse for the result. As a team, we have to react, and we didn’t.
“What hurts the most is we were definitely in the game for those first 30 minutes or so. It was a good game until Gilly’s sending-off changed everything. We just couldn’t get the reaction right. More was possible and that’s what hurts for us.
“We have the international break now to refocus and learn from what went wrong. We have the chance to start fresh with a fresh mindset. What happened has happened and we can’t change that now. We have to focus what is coming next, which is Reading. We need to be prepared.”
Saturday’s game was the first time in over six months that West Ham United fans had been able to view their team in action, with the weekend’s match chosen by the Government as a pilot event to test supporters back in stadia.
Combined with the first time West Ham United women’s team played at their new matchday home – Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium – Vetterlein was delighted to have fans back with the team.
The centre-back is hopeful the side can repay their brilliant support after the international break.
She added: “We’ve come back with a crowd and we felt their support so well from the first minute. You could see in the first 30 minutes how much their support pushed us.
“It’s heart-breaking to have this result in the first game we have fans back, with such a great crowd and our brilliant new stadium. Even though we lost 9-1, our supporters have still stayed and clapped for us.
“We are so grateful for this reaction and I hope we can put this right and make them proud in our next game.”