Olli Harder: We must produce more consistent performances
West Ham United manager Olli Harder believes inconsistent performance levels within games are limiting his side’s potential.
In tricky conditions on a wintery Sunday afternoon at Chigwell Construction Stadium, Kateřina Svitková’s second-half goal was enough to earn the Hammers Harder’s first Barclays FA Women’s Super League point in charge.
The home team had gone behind after seven minutes when a ricochet from a corner saw Emily van Egmond put through her own net, but Svitková’s calm finish inside the area ensured affairs ended level.
Perhaps due to the conditions, the game largely lacked rhythm and clear-cut chances were at a premium for both sides, but West Ham still created plenty enough in the second half to suggest they had more to give, according to Harder.
He reflected: “It wasn’t good enough, to be honest. We weren’t good enough in the first half, were better in the second half – and a point is probably a fair reflection of what was not a good advertisement for football today.
“There were bits and pieces in our performance to be happy with, but you can’t win a football match if you’re only putting in bits and pieces. We need to start putting together more consistent performances over longer periods of time.
“That’s obviously something we are addressing and working on, but these things don’t happen overnight. It was difficult conditions today, but that’s how it goes.”
The conditions at a snow-trodden Chigwell Construction Stadium contributed heavily to a game of great significance in terms of the WSL table – but one which largely fell flat.
For me, it’s a case of there being small positives, and we can just keep building off those
With honours even at full-time, West Ham are 11th – two points, and one place, above Sunday’s opposition.
“I think the weather affected both teams,” Harder explained. “I don’t think it was a great advertisement for football in general.
“With snow on the pitch, it’s not really conducive to anything constructive regarding football. It was both teams just trying to play very low-percentage, low-risk football which is obviously not very attractive for anybody watching.”
Putting the result behind him, Harder wants his team to build on the positives from Sunday’s display – particularly those stemming from the second half.
He added: “For me, it’s a case of there being small positives, and we can just keep building off those.
“We’ve got a tough game against Brighton in midweek. I believe they had a good result today [a 2-1 win at Chelsea] so their tails will be up.
“There’s still plenty of the season to go, but like I said performance-wise, if we had managed to perform as well as we did in the second half today in the first, I believe the result would have been a little bit different.”