08 October 2020

West Ham manager Matt Beard praises team’s character after penalty win over Brighton

West Ham manager Matt Beard has praised his side after they picked up their first win of the season against Brighton in the Continental Cup last night.

The Hammers fought back from 2-1 down as Gilly Flaherty scored with eight minutes remaining before they took the victory 4-2 on penalties.

Last night was West Ham’s first victory of the season (PA)

And while Beard recognises there is still a great deal they need to improve on, he is happy with how his side applied themselves.

"The penalty shoot-out cost us last year when we played at home to Tottenham, where we were unable to get that extra point. We worked on it yesterday, so it was pleasing to see that work come off," he told the club website.

"I think we showed a lot of good character to come back into the game after going 2-1 down. We had a couple of other chances too afterwards where we maybe could have won it and taken three points.

"It’s frustrating to concede from two set plays, but tonight’s match is a step in the right direction for us." 

West Ham began their season with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham but were then humiliated 9-1 at home to Arsenal.

Last weekend they came up short again as they went down 1-0 to Reading, but they will now be hoping they can build on a first win of the campaign.

England international Rachel Daly scored her first goal for the club last night and Beard believes that will allow some pressure to be taken off her.

"Rachel has been brilliant," he added. "Since day one, she’s come in and she’s shown her talent. It’s good for her to get her goal tonight because now she can relax a bit. She’s got the first one and it’s ticked off.

"There are still relationships to be developed in the final third. Emily van Egmond played in that more advanced role in this game, but the pleasing thing is how many chances we are creating when we’re going forward.

"The thing now is to make sure we’re finishing them off. The hardest thing in the game is to score goals. If we weren’t creating chances then I’d be worried, but we are, and it’s a process. It might just take a little time, but we’ve got a good team that can compete with anyone.

"I’ve got one or two missing at the moment, so I haven’t been able to rotate as much as I’d like to have. But tonight’s performance and result is a positive step and we need to take that forward into this weekend’s game."

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