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West Ham boss Beard says they must put heavy Arsenal defeat behind them

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 September 2020

Arsenal's Katie McCabe (left) and West Ham United's Rachel Daly battle for the ball during the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.

Arsenal's Katie McCabe (left) and West Ham United's Rachel Daly battle for the ball during the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Manager Matt Beard said his West Ham United side must put Saturday’s disappointing defeat at home to Arsenal immediately behind them and focus on the season to come.

West Ham United fans arrive to the ground ahead of the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.West Ham United fans arrive to the ground ahead of the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.

The Hammers’ first match at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium ended with the visitors, Arsenal, scoring nine goals and beating the Irons.

Beard was happy with how his side started the game but knew that captain Gilly Flaherty’s dismissal for a second yellow card in the first half changed the game, and now wants his side to learn from this weekend’s frustrating result.

“I thought we started the game excellently,” Beard said after the match. “I thought we were unlucky to go a goal down, but we responded well and got back into the game.

“Gilly, with the sending off, just needs to keep herself in control. But when you play these top teams and those decisions go against you, it does make it harder.

West Ham United and Arsenal players take a knee prior to kick-off during the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.West Ham United and Arsenal players take a knee prior to kick-off during the Barclays FA WSL match at The Chigwell Construction Stadium, London.

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“I just said to the girls after the game that we can’t allow that to happen. It will be a big learning curve for some of our new players, and we can’t let it define our season. We need to draw a line under it and move forward.”

He added: “We were naive with our defending when we went down to 10, these results shouldn’t happen regardless of what goes on, but we’ve got to take it on the chin and use it as motivation going.”

Saturday’s game was the first time since February that West Ham United were able to play in front of supporters, as the pilot event saw 734 supporters watch the Irons in action.

Despite the result on the pitch, Beard was delighted to welcome the fans back and was thrilled to have them with his team at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium.

“The fans are fantastic, week in and week out, when they’re able to be here for us. It’s been a pleasure to see them grow with us over the years and it was great to have them here with us today (Saturday).

“It’s obviously different though due to the Covid-19 protocols, we’re getting changed at the training ground then driving across, but it’s a great stadium and will be a great home for us.”

West Ham now head into the International break before returning to action against Reading on Saturday, October 4.


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