Olli Harder: West Ham United Women building up momentum ahead of Sunday against Birmingham City
Olli Harder is hoping that his side will be able to make it three wins in a row in the Barclays FA Women's Super League (WSL) when they take on Birmingham City at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The West Ham United women’s manager knows his side will have to show the same ‘performance levels’ that they have done in their previous two matches if they want to come away with all three points against the Blues.
Harder reflected on a good week in training and the aims ahead of the contest.
“We’ve had a great intensity to training this week, maintaining the standards that we set against Manchester City and taking them into this weekend’s match against Birmingham.
“Obviously, there’s been a lot of positivity about the group after such a good performance and result. We’ve been building up momentum and we’re looking forward to capping that off with a good performance on Sunday.
“We have our plan and our players know what they need to do to be able to come away with the points that we desire,” he said.
It’s been a summer of change for Sunday’s opponents, Birmignham City, with no less than 14 new arrivals as they squad underwent a major overhaul after previous manager, Carla Ward departed for neighbours Aston Villa.
Scott Booth has arrived from Glasgow City having enjoyed success up in Scotland, winning six titles as well as one solitary Scottish Cup.
Having studied the opposition ahead of the match, Harder is expecting an organised approach from the Blues.
“They’re extremely well organised and are always a difficult team to go up against. I think they’ve been unfortunate with a couple of their results so far this season, and they do look dangerous in certain aspects of their play.
“It’s important for us to make sure that we’re well organised and that we continue to progress our performance levels so that we can get the result.
“They have a talented squad and they’re several players that can be dangerous in key moments, so for us it’s making sure that we take care of ourselves first and foremost, but we also have to be mindful of their key players and how they can potentially hurt us.”
There’s always room for improvement, we need to look at ourselves individually – if we can do that then collectively we will be successful on Sunday
At the Academy Stadium against Manchester City, Harder’s side had to be patient and organised without the ball, waiting for gaps to appear when the home side pushed forward.
Birmingham are a different type of opposition, and Harder hopes that his team will have more control in possession and can make small improvements to their individual performances
“Against Manchester City, you saw the togetherness that this group has, working hard for one another. We had to go there and dictate the space rather than the ball. This time around, it’s the opposite of that. We’re at home and we will be looking to be a bit more on the front foot with our passing and pressing.
“There’s always room for improvement, we need to look at ourselves individually – if we can do that then collectively we will be successful on Sunday.”
Tickets are available on the day of the game for our match against the Blues, with the Ticket Office at the Chigwell Construction Stadium opening at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
For fans planning to attend, our Supporters Code of Conduct is available to read by clicking here.
Alternatively, if you cannot make it to the game on Sunday in person, then it will be broadcast live on the FA Player website.