Reading boss Kelly Chambers has branded her side’s 5-0 defeat to West Ham United as ‘unacceptable’ and has issued an apology to the club’s fans.
The Royals fell to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to relegation-threatened West Ham United at The Madejski Stadium this afternoon. Reading were lacklustre as they failed to deal with The Irons’ impressive attacking display, finding themselves 3-0 down with only 11 minutes gone and 5-0 down at half-time.
Speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Chambers criticised her side for their lack of composure whilst under high pressure from West Ham United.
“We didn’t come out with the fight and desire I asked the girls to come out with today,” Chambers said. “We tried to play, obviously West Ham pressed us a bit more aggressively than they normally do but we kept playing into their hands.
“I thought we caused our own problems in the first half and we didn’t show the adaptability that we showed against City, that’s cost us today.”
Reading are virtually assured top flight football again next season but Chambers is keen to make sure that the club’s current campaign doesn’t fizzle out.
She said “They’re gutted, they’re disappointed with the result, they know it should be better.
“As people say, life is hard because you sit in mid-table and you know your not fighting for anything near the top, you know your not fighting in the relegation battle. For me, we want to finish as high as we can and the girls know that.
“In terms of the motivation that is there, we’ve got to show pride to finish as high as we can, but the performance today, especially in the first half ,didn’t show that”
“The big thing is to apologise to the fans for the first half performance because it’s unacceptable.”
Since moving to The Madejski Stadium this season, Reading have been unable to rival the form they experienced at their former base of Adams Park. With The Royals failing to secure a home win since the opening day of the season against Aston Villa, Chambers hopes that her side can build their new Berkshire home into a fortress soon.
“It’s hard because a lot of people say home, it is home in terms of being back in Reading, being back at Reading Football Club but it’s a new home for us,” Chambers said.
“It’s a new home that we’ve got to build to make our own like we did when we were at Wycombe.
“It’s a very different surrounding, it’s very different not having fans when you’re in a 25,000 seater stadium but look that’s no excuse, we have to find our way, this is our home now and going forward.
“Make sure it is a home where it becomes difficult for teams to come to us, like it was at Adams Park.”
Today’s fixture marked the end of midfielder Jess Fishlock’s time at Reading. Even though it wasn’t the perfect send off for the Welsh international, Chambers was thankful for what she brought to The Royals in such a short but impactful time.
“She’s been a big part of the season, she played pretty much the majority,” she said. “She’s been great for me, great for the team and obviously brought her ability out on the pitch.
“I knew this moment would always come, I’m just glad we’ve got the likes of Fara (Williams) back, that we have more midfield options than we did when she did came.
“I thank her for all her services she’s given to the club in the eight months that she’s been here and wish her all the best as she goes back to Seattle.”
Chambers and her side now have the international break to rectify today’s result before facing Tottenham Hotspur in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round at The Madejski Stadium in a fortnight’s time.