West Ham Ladies Lily Mellors has praised manager Julian Dick’s man management style as the Hammers look to kick on following a positive October. Two victories over rivals Tottenham Hotspur, a 4-1 hammering of Keynsham Town and a 3-0 away win against Copsewood has seen the Ladies climb into sixth position with games in hand against some of those above them in the FA Womens Premier League South.
Key to securing their current points tally of 18 has been the number of goals scored so far this campaign. Some 26 goals in all competitions have been netted – up from 14 from the same point last season. Forward Mellors has played in the majority of games for the Ladies this campaign, scoring three times and believes Hammers legend Dicks, a columnist for Blowing Bubbles, has installed a winning attitude in the squad
‘With Julian coming in as manager, I think we have all upped our performance level this season,’ she said. ‘He tells people individually what he wants from each of us in a game and we all try to do that because we know if we don’t, we will be subbed. ‘I’m very happy with how things are going at the moment because I’m scoring and the team is working well together and everybody is playing with a smile on their face.
‘We also believe that we can achieve things and win games, which is something we perhaps didn’t all feel last season. There might still be quite a bit of the season to go but we are all hoping that we can continue the run we are on and keep progressing as a team to move further up the table. ‘Certainly, I think the way we are playing has improved since last season.
‘There are things for us to work on and we have been working hard on these on the training ground but I feel like we’ve definitely turned a corner now.’ Mellors’ move from midfield to partner Vicky Kinsman up front is already reaping the rewards – both scored in the Hammers’ 3-0 victory over Copsewood. ‘We work really well off each other,’ she said. ‘She uses her strength to lay it off or flicks the ball to me to run on to. We have both scored a few goals since we have been partnered up top together and we’ve both enjoyed playing together.’
Kinsman hasn’t been the only summer singing to impress Mellors, who joined the club in November 2012. ‘ As well as Kinsman, who is strong and always puts in a lot of effort at training and on the pitch, we’ve got Emma Sherwood who can strike a ball brilliantly, has quick feet and can thread a ball through well.
Runnacles, our ‘keeper, has also brought organisation to the back four and we all have trust in her to put her body on the line when it counts. ‘Keeping the ball, closing down the opposition quicker and set plays are just some of the things the ladies have been working on in training recently. ‘We’ve also been working on our shape as a team and shooting,’ she said. ‘Julian has brought in new ideas and new sessions which have been refreshing to all of us.
She added: ‘Overall, we are definitely creating more chances than we were last year. When we get the ball down, we are passing it nicely and not just rushing things. ‘We are all confident we can beat any team in our league but we need to do this week in, week out. There are some games we have looked back on and think how and why were we so poor but there have been games recently where we have played teams off the pitch.
‘But with every game, we are getting closer as a team and that has showed in our performances. I want to see us finishing in the top half of the table and I strongly believe that we are capable of doing just that.’