Column: West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty previews Manchester United clash

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2020

Gilly Flaherty of West Ham United Women reacts during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Everton Women. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Gilly Flaherty of West Ham United Women reacts during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Everton Women. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

2020 Getty Images

Hello everyone, the team and I head into this Sunday’s match knowing how important getting a win is.

Gilly Flaherty's signature (Pic: West Ham United)Gilly Flaherty's signature (Pic: West Ham United)

Looking at our last game at Everton, there were clear periods in which we were the better team.

In particular, I look at how we performed in the first half, after Kenza’s goal, and how we played for almost all of the second half too. I said after the match the scoreline is the only statistic anyone remembers, but I do think the 3-1 does not paint the full picture of the game.

That game kind of tells the story of our season so far. We’ve been able to get going for large parts of every fixture and there are certainly positives to take from each match we’ve played.

But when we are in those advantageous periods, we need to be assertive, driven and clinical.

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This weekend, we welcome a Manchester United side that have started the season very well. Their manager, Casey Stoney, is someone who I hold a lot of respect for.

When I broke into the England team for the first time, she was one of the first people to reach out to me, say congratulations and offer her help. I think she has taken to management really well.

That being said, we enjoyed what many would agree was our best game of the 2019/20 season against Manchester United.

Beating them 3-2 in the last minute of the match was incredible, and I put that down to the atmosphere our amazing supporters created. They were absolutely immense that day. We know the West Ham United fans are with us for every single game, but there was magic in the air that evening.

Of course, Casey will have reminded her players of what happened last year and, unfortunately, once again our fans are unable to be with us in person for Sunday’s match.

We have all gone through tough times in the last eight months and the fight to defeat Covid-19 is ongoing across the world.

As always, football simply isn’t the same without the fans there, but I know the West Ham United supporters will be with us in spirit once again.

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