West Ham United Women have picked up their first points for the season last weekend away from home against Brighton.
Not only did the team walk away with a win, they were able to keep a clean sheet following a determined performance.
Kirsty Smith bagged her first goal for the club with her quick reactions after picking up the rebound from Riko Ueki’s shot. The Japanese forward then went on the head home the second also her first goal for the Hammers.
Hawa Cissoko was involved in the strong back line last Sunday as she explains how the performance reflected the hard work and spirit the team have built on ahead of the start of the season in an interview with The Women’s Football Show.
“We came to the game with the right mindset,” she said.
“We had a meeting before the game where defenders said that they would keep a clean sheet and strikers said that they would bring the goals and that’s exactly what we did out on the pitch.
“And so we are really happy because we worked hard for each other. We feel like we really showed the spirit of the team out there.”
With the first WSL away fixture under new manager Rehanne Skinner resulting in a win, Cissoko hopes the fans enjoyed the performance either in the stands or supporting from home.
“To be honest, although we felt confident, they had us worried as well because they did work hard from the first minute of the game to the last.
“And so it’s good for us because although Brighton worked hard, we put bodies on the line and took the three points home.
“So I think it was a good game and I hope the fans have enjoyed watching it.”
Cissoko has taken on a new role as vice captain, alongside team mate Mackenzie Arnold who was given the captaincy following Dagny Brynjarsdotirr’s pregnancy leave this season.
The French defender feels the team have had a shift in the mindset from previous years and that all staff and players are focused on good results durning the new season.
“I think the spirit of the team has changed. Macca [Mackenzie Arnold] said to us after the game that since she’s been at West Ham, she has never seen the team play for each other like we are doing this season ever before.
“This season, everyone has each other’s back, we work together and we all put the work in for each other.
“Our new players like Emma Harries and Riko [Ueki] have taken on the spirit of the team straightaway. It just works when everyone is in it together, even all of the staff. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be part of this team,” Cissoko added.
Written by Katie Vine.