Tuesday 12 Oct
Updated Tuesday 12 Oct 10:00
Women

Yui Hasegawa: It's good that I'm off the mark for West Ham United Women

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Yui Hasegawa reflected on the fact that West Ham United Women were unable to find a winner in their Barclays FA Women’s Super League draw with Birmingham City. 

Claudia Walker had put the Hammers in front early in the second half, but the Blues hit back through Louise Quinn. 

The Japanese international reflected on her fourth appearance in Claret & Blue. 

“We attacked and created many chances, but unfortunately the result didn't come our way,” Hasegawa told Kyodo News at the full-time whistle. 

“We wanted to keep the momentum after the win last week and in order to keep up with the teams in the top half of the table, we can't afford to drop points against the other teams.
 
"In the first half, their defence was compact and organised, but I still felt I could receive the ball between the lines. In the second half, as we have a lot of players who can run into the box to meet the crosses, I was holding my runs and stayed behind to be alert to second balls and think about not being caught out on the counter attack,” she said.
 
Hasegawa has certainly been a hit since arriving in east London, contributing two assists and a goal in the four matches that she has featured in so far, and the midfielder was pleased to be on the scoresheet last weekend against Manchester City - her first in the WSL. 

"Even in Japan I wasn't a prolific goalscorer, and it was only last year that I started to score more regularly. It's good that I've got off the mark here in my first season.
 
"It was a difficult match as I couldn't receive the ball as much as I would've liked to, but I stayed patient and it was great to score in the end with some luck on my side as well."

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It can often be difficult for players to adapt to a different league and country when arriving in England, but Hasegawa has enjoyed the change of intensity that comes with football in the WSL, compared to when she played her football at AC Milan last season. 
  
"It is a much faster and more physical style of football here, just as I had expected. In Italy the players were stronger than Japanese players, but I could keep up with their speed, whereas in England the pace and intensity is really different. 

“I think it's great that I get to experience that on a regular basis."
 
Hasegawa also spoke about how she is settling in at the Hammers, with the 24-year-old admitting that the facilities at the team’s Chadwell Heath training ground are better than what she has been used to throughout her career. 

She has also enjoyed being able to spend time with fellow Japanese international, Mana Iwabuchi, who joined Arsenal this summer. 

"The training ground is close by and the facilities are much better than in Japan, and I have started to cook for myself. I also like the fact that Mana Iwabuchi is in London so we can spend some time together and relax. 
  
"It's not the first time I've had to learn a new language because in AC Milan there were a lot of foreign players who don't speak Italian, so it was important to communicate in English. My listening skills are improving, and I can more or less understand what people are saying, but it's still difficult to speak so I need to keep working on that," she said. 

West Ham United face London City Lionesses on Wednesday 13 October in the Group Stage of the Continental League Cup. 

The Hammers will be hoping to progress to the knockout stages, but will have to overcome Birmingham City, Brighton & Hove Albion and London City if they're to reach their aim. 

Tickets are available for our Conti Cup clash, click here to purchase yours! 
 

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