Lucy Parker was pleased to return to action after a long injury layoff on Sunday afternoon.
The 24-year-old defender came off the bench in the 74th minute at Walton Hall Park, when the Hammers found themselves 3-0 down to Everton, after goals from Karen Holmsgaard, Megan Finnigan and Aggie Beever-Jones had put Brian Sørensen’s side well in command.
But having Parker back fit and getting minutes on the grass was a real positive despite the result on Merseyside, particularly with cup matches against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers to come in quick succession.
And the England defender has her sights set helping the team to make progress in both the Continental Tyres League Cup and the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
“I’m obviously buzzing to be back out there," Parker told whufc.com after the defeat against the Toffees.
“It wasn't the result that we wanted here today, but on a personal note, it’s nice to be back out there and getting minutes again.”
Parker has, unfortunately, been no stranger to the treatment table over the last year, having spent last April until the end of pre-season on the sidelines too.
And after receiving her maiden call-up to the Lionesses squad at the end of September, Parker then picked up an injury against London City Lionesses in the first group stage match of the Conti Cup.
The defender admitted it was difficult to take the news after such an incredible high just days before.
“It’s been tough,” she explained. “The circumstances around being called-up to the Lionesses squad for the first time and then having that taken away from you because of injury was really difficult.
“It’s never nice when you have any sort of injury, but that made it hurt a lot more. I’ve had two large chunks of time out injured during the last year, so I was mentally prepared for what was to come with all of the rehab.
“Once you’ve done it once then you know that you can do it again, so it was just about doing things properly and working hard in the gym.”
Parker and company are looking to reach the semi-final of the Conti Cup for the first time in the Club’s professional history, and after the defeat to Liverpool’s near-neighbours on Sunday, she is pleased that this game is coming around so quickly.
“The worst thing after a loss is waiting for the next game to come around, so it’s good that we have the game against Liverpool coming up on Wednesday.
“We all want to do well in the cup competitions, and we know that we’re not to far away now from the final. We have to go up there and put in a good performance, which isn’t going to be easy.
“We have to earn the right to reach the semi finals and that’s what I hope we can do as a group,” Parker concluded.