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West Ham United goalkeeper Claire Lacey is hopeful that their 2-0 victory over Newcastle Utd in the Premier League Cup will help get their league campaign on track.
The Hammers have been beaten in their three league matches to date but Claire insists that performances have not been bad during that spell.
"We played well against Bristol City in our first game," Claire told Women's Soccer Scene. "Unfortunately we lost to an own goal and it deflated us a bit - otherwise we would have picked up a point against a good side and it would have set us up nicely.
"We started well against Keynsham but had a bad ten minute spell when we let in four goals and didn't play badly against Reading either."
However things came together in the Cup with a win against one of the fancied teams in the Northern Division. "We were really positive going into the game," says Claire. "We were brilliant defensively, scored two good goals and showed great passion and commitment. Every single player in the team had a great day and that is the kind of performance we should give every week."
Claire herself had a good day as she kept her first clean sheet of the season. "I had a busy game," she admits, "my best of the season so far so it was really good for me. Newcastle are a good side who pass the ball around well and I needed to make a few saves.
"We have worked hard at defending set pieces and it paid off against Newcastle, who are a tall side."
West Ham's reward is a trip to Nottingham Forest in the Second Round but Claire is not concerned about that for the time being. "I don't want to think too far ahead," she replies. "Our main concentration is on the league. I don't know anything about Forest and what to expect, but it would be good to progress."
Next up for the Hammers is a local derby against Millwall Lionesses, a game that Claire is relishing. "It's always a good, physical, positive game against Millwall, always competitive," she says. "Both teams are full of quality - we know how Millwall play and they are a good side."
Claire has been at West Ham for 13 years, making over 300 appearances, and was a part of the team that rose through the leagues to achieve Premier League status at the start of last season. She remains confident that the Hammers are more than capable of doing well in the league: "We also lost our first three games last year as we didn't really know what to expect, but we pulled away from trouble and ended up in sixth place.
"At the start of the season, we were confident of getting good results against all the teams in the division but results have not gone our way so far. We don't take anything for granted but we would like to think we can be a top five team."
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