Olli Harder: We wanted more than the point
West Ham United women’s manager Olli Harder was frustrated at the full-time whistle, after his side couldn’t find a way past a stubborn Aston Villa defence on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers had 28 attempts on the Villa goal in an important clash at the bottom of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. Martha Thomas and Emily van Egmond both rattled the crossbar and other chances were blocked or cleared on the line by the hosts, who clung on for a share of the spoils.
The New Zealander gave his thoughts on the 0-0 draw at full-time:
“I’m wondering how we haven’t come away from the game with a win. It’s been the tale of our season really; we haven’t been effective enough going forward.
“Performance levels throughout the game were pretty good, there were a couple of moments that I wasn’t happy with, and we have our goalkeeper to thank for pulling off some good saves. Overall – it was a fairly good performance for us.”
The point moves the Hammers up to 9th place in the WSL league table, with safety almost secured. Harder was disappointed that his side couldn’t find the back of the net at Villa Park to guarantee their place in the top division before the clash against Manchester City next weekend.
“We wanted more than the point but it’s a massive one and another small step. The goals for us are a bit like London buses, they either all come in one match or not at all. Unfortunately, we’ve haven’t been able to hit the back of the net in the last couple of games, but at the same time we’re keeping clean sheets, which is always good.
“Every game matters, so we will approach the match against Manchester City in the same way as we do with all of our matches. Nothing is confirmed yet, but it’s a big step towards survival which was the goal when I arrived at the club in January. I’m hoping it’s going to be enough; we will have to wait and see how other results go, but it could be favourable for us,” he said.
This was West Ham’s third match in the last seven days, with Harder pleased that his squad have been able to get through these matches, despite being limited on numbers due to injury.
“It’s no secret that we’ve got quite a thin squad at the moment, so I’m really pleased with the effort, application, intensity and energy that the players showed. It was one of our better performances – but we didn’t have the icing on the cake to top it all off.”
West Ham United will face off against Manchester City at Victoria Road in their final Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture of the season on Sunday.
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