Olli Harder: This is the start of a big week for us
West Ham United Women's manager Olli Harder has called for his side to continue their good run of performances in recent weeks as they kick-off their Vitality Women’s FA Cup campaign.
The Hammers welcome FA Women’s National League side Chichester & Selsey Ladies to Victoria Road for the fourth-round clash, while taking a short break from league action, on Sunday at 1pm.
Harder is looking for his team to play with the same confidence that they did against Reading last time out, which saw them record a 5-0 victory, their joint-biggest win in the Barclays FA Women's Super League since turning professional.
And, with home WSL fixtures against Aston Villa and Everton to follow next Tuesday and Sunday respectively, Harder is eager for his players to start an important eight days on a positive note.
He said: “This is the start of a big week for us, so it’s important that we start it off in the right way and continue to show the performance levels that we did against Reading before the international break.
“Our opponents have already beaten two sides to get to this stage, so we have to be wary of that going into this contest. We know that it will be a big day for them, but looking at ourselves, we need to go out and perform well and get a result. We expect the team to do that, regardless of who plays in the match.
“It’s really important that we continue the run of good performances that we have shown in recent up, so that we can go into our crucial WSL match against Aston Villa in the best form possible."
This week, the east Londoners celebrated the two-year anniversary of their win over Reading in the FA Cup semi-final which, back in 2019, earned them a trip to Wembley in their first-ever season as a professional club.
This will be Harder’s first experience of one of the most historic competitions in all of world football, one that he is relishing.
“I’m really excited to be making my debut as a manager in this competition. It’s a very strange time to only just be starting our journey in the FA Cup at this very late stage of the season, but we’re pleased to be able to have the chance to finally play.
“It’s a game that has real importance to us and we will be going out to try and win the game,” he said.
There will be no live stream available for Sunday's Vitality Women's FA Cup clash against Chichester & Selsey Women, but supporters will still be able to follow all the action on our socials media channels and highlights and reaction will be published here on whufc.com.