Olli Harder says that West Ham United Women need to show more application when they take on Arsenal in the final game of the 2021/22 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season next weekend.
The Hammers were comfortably beaten by Manchester United on Sunday afternoon at Leigh Sports Village, when two quickfire first half goals got the game off to the worst possible start for Harder’s team. Former West Ham forward Martha Thomas got the Red Devils ahead before Grace Fisk inadvertently turned the ball into her on net inside 20 minutes.
Leah Galton would add a third just after half time, with the Hammers lacking quality in the final third and finding chances at a premium.
And with a tough game against Arsenal to come next week before the campaign's end, Harder is hoping to see an improvement from his team on the final day.
I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to get a foothold in the game.
We just lacked a real presence today and lacked the intensity that we need to compete.
When we’re not competing for first and second balls, then the game becomes stretched, more complicated. Credit to Manchester United, they looked like they were hungry for the points, and they deserved to take all three.
It’s always a difficult situation when you go two goals down after 20 minutes
We’ve been there before at different stages during the season. These are things that we will need to address because when you put yourself on the back foot, it becomes a difficult afternoon.
Today was about application
We’ve seen the resilience from the team throughout the season, but today it wasn’t about resilience, it was about application. I just didn’t feel like we applied ourselves well enough in all areas.
The result stands at 3-0, and fair play to United – our application just wasn’t there.
Every game that we don’t win is a missed opportunity
More importantly, it’s about how we represent ourselves out on the pitch as a football Club – and this wasn’t a great reflection of who we’ve been over the course of this season.
We can take lots of positives from this campaign as a whole, and my hope is that we can take a little bit more intensity into the Arsenal game and finish the season strongly.
There’s still a lot to play for
We’re playing for a top half finish in the table, and obviously the pride of playing for this fantastic football Club in a local derby against Arsenal.
We have an opportunity to ruin their afternoon as they look to push for the title and all the rest of it, so there’s plenty to play for.
We need to have better application on and off the ball to have an opportunity to beat them.
West Ham United Women face Arsenal at Dagenham & Redbridge on Sunday 8 May 2022 – with the game kicking off at 12pm.