Manchester United Women keen to avoid coming unstuck against West Ham

United are aiming to maintain their impressive start to the season after winning three and drawing one of their opening four WSL matches

LEIGH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Ella Toone of Manchester United celebrates with teammates during the Barclays FA Women's Super League fixture between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Leigh Sports Village on October 04, 2020 in Leigh, England. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)
Image: Manchester United are fourth in the Women's Super League table after beating Birmingham, Brighton and Tottenham following an opening-day draw with Chelsea

Casey Stoney says her Manchester United players have learnt the lessons from last season's defeat at West Ham ahead of their rematch on Sunday.

United were beaten 3-2 by West Ham in December last year in a season eventually brought to a premature end by the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been no such trouble though with results so far, with Stoney's side among a cluster of teams to remain unbeaten through the first four games of the campaign.

Casey Stoney is keen for her United players to reflect on the lessons they gained from the defeat at West Ham last December 0:26
Casey Stoney says West Ham 'pose a real threat' to Manchester United despite their poor start to the WSL season

"The important thing is, we've got points on the board," Stoney, whose side have so far accrued 10 points from a possible 12, told Sky Sports News.

"The opening game was never going to be easy against Chelsea and we knew that and actually squad depth wise we were really limited. So to come away with a point - and then obviously like you say we've got nine points from thereon in - it's pleasing.

"We know we've got lots to build on in terms of performances, but it was quite a bitty game on Saturday [a 1-0 win at Tottenham], with lots of free-kicks. I don't think the referee helped that situation, to be honest.

"We've got to find a way to win and I think that was pleasing on Saturday, we found a way to win.

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"We know that West Ham away is tricky, we came unstuck last year. We spoke about it this week, we know the lessons. We've got to make sure that doesn't happen again."

USA international Tobin Heath was a high-profile acquisition for United during the transfer window
Image: USA international Tobin Heath was a high-profile acquisition for United during the transfer window

With Arsenal and Everton having won all four of their league fixtures this term, and Chelsea and United having not yet tasted defeat, the competitiveness of the division has been on show in the season's opening weeks.

Those impressive starts follow a summer transfer window that saw a number of high-profile players and World Cup winners move to the WSL from overseas, including USA international Alex Morgan who joined Tottenham.

Stoney, who has been in charge of Manchester United since their formation in 2018, says she expects that closeness between sides to continue.

Arsenal Women are top of Women's Super League but there are fears that the development of  teams further down the pyramid could be set back a decade
Image: Arsenal Women are currently top of the WSL

"I think you're seeing it a little bit already, aren't you?" Stoney said, when referencing the league table.

"Arsenal are doing really well, Everton four out of four as well, Man City dropping points at the weekend against Chelsea, we're in and around it, so I think that gap at the top will be tighter.

"Birmingham got their first win as well so it shows that they're going to be hard to break down and hard to beat. I definitely think it's going to be a very competitive season."

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