Preview: Reading vs West Ham United21 Apr, 2022
Reading manager Kelly Chambers is confident heading into her side’s WSL clash with West Ham, but has emphasised the importance of her team needing to take their chances.
The Royals have already met the Hammers twice this season, getting a last-gap equaliser at Victoria Road in November before losing out in extra-time in the FA Cup in February. Chambers seemed to have a good knowledge of what to expect from her side’s opponents, saying: “I don’t think West Ham have changed much in any game they’ve played this season, so we know what to expect.”
Chambers would later make reference specifically to the FA Cup game, a game in which Reading failed to take their chances, saying: “The FA Cup was heartbreaking, but on Sunday we just need to get our chances and take them!”
Given how well the two sides have got to know each other this season and with their close proximity in the table, one of them will need to have that extra edge to come out victorious. Chambers explained how her side could have this when she said: “We’ve gotta be better in possession, more comfortable on the ball, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal. “The most important part is how we defend our box and our half of the pitch.”
Whilst this game is the main focus, Chambers will also have to be thinking about who she wants to keep on for next season. When asked about contracts and transfers, she said: “The good thing for us is that we’ve got a big part of our squad still under contract for next season, but I’m going over it with those who are out of contract!”
With the end of the season just three games away, Chambers emphasised the importance of finishing the season in style when she said: “It is important, post the Chelsea game there was a real reflection. “We wanna finish as high up the league as possible, we have two home games and we’ve had great form.”
Team News: Though they have most of their squad available, the Royals will still have to cope with the absence of midfielder Emma Harries, who Chambers confirmed: “is out for the remainder of the season.”
Despite this absence, Reading will still head into this fixture full of confidence and a determination to get third time lucky against West Ham.