09 November 2020

West Ham manager Beard feels Birmingham victory could be ‘turning point’ in season

West Ham manager Matt Beard has praised his side’s character after they beat Birmingham City 2-1 on Sunday to pick up their first Women’s Super League win of the season.

The Hammers were lingering near the bottom of the table with just one point from five games heading to Damson Park yesterday.

But Emily van Egmond’s strike 17 minutes from time gave Beard’s team a priceless three points.

Speaking after the match, he said: "It’s a tough place to come and Birmingham have been on a good run. We were disappointed with the goal we conceded. Claudia was someone we had identified as being really good for them on the counter-attack.

"But I thought we showed a lot of character and responded well to the goal. We created a lot of chances and, once we’ve got in front, we’ve had to see the game out as well. We’ve seen a different side to the girls. We’ve created some good moments and it was important to get our first win in the league.

"We’re starting to get a little bit of consistency with our team selection. We’ve got almost everyone back fit, apart from Maz, and we’re starting to see relationships build on the pitch."

West Ham have leaked a huge number of goals so far this season (EMPICS Sport)

West Ham’s win over Birmingham comes just four days after they also beat Reading 3-0 in the Continental Cup.

And Beard believes impressive back-to-back performances can help them to kick on with two more victories against Brighton and Charlton.

"Both of these games (Reading and Birmingham) this week were must-win for us," he added. "We said, in November, that these are games that we feel we can win and we can use to kick-start our season.

"Hopefully, by the end of the month and as we enter the international break, we’ll have another three league points under our belts and we’ll be through in the Continental League Cup, and we can look back on this month as a turning point."

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