West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty believes “anything is possible” with the backing of the club’s fans as her side prepare to face Manchester City in the FA Women’s Cup semi-finals.
The Hammers are bidding to reach the FA Cup final for the second time in their professional history, and it was City who beat them 3-0 in the Wembley final in 2019.
The two teams have met recently, in the WSL earlier this month, with City winning 2-0 with goals from Georgia Stanway and Khadija Shaw.
To reach the semi-finals, West Ham have so far beaten Sheffield United, Reading and won 1-0 against third-tier Ipswich in the quarter-finals.
Flaherty told the club’s website: “The fans are going to be crucial for us on Saturday.
“When you hear them in the stands singing for us, it really motivates you as an individual player, but it also does a lot for you as a team.
“There’s no denying it’s going to be a tough occasion, and we’re really going to have to play well to get a result, but with the support of our fans on that day, I think anything is possible.”
Hammers boss Olli Harder will assess players returning from international duty, but one confirmed absence is Maisy Barker, who is out with a long-term injury.
Harder’s side face a challenge at a Manchester City side that are three-time FA Cup winners and last won the trophy in 2020 when they beat Everton 3-1.
However, City manager Gareth Taylor hopes his side can take inspiration from last month’s Continental Cup triumph, where they beat Chelsea 3-1 in the final.
“Confidence and belief don’t last long, but you have to constantly look to revisit those moments and try to feel how we feel,” he told the club’s website.
“Just like most semi-finals and finals, you will have moments where you suffer, but we came through on the other side with real character and quality.
“Our job as a staff is to reinforce that with the players, review what we’ve accomplished and can do without being too confident to give ourselves the best opportunity.”
Alex Greenwood, Alanna Kennedy and Chloe Kelly are making good progress after injuries, but the match could come too soon for Vicky Losada.
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