By George Overhill

17th Feb, 2022 | 10:10pm

West Ham Women expert assesses effects of international break after loss

We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women’s expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…

Michelle Irons has cast her eye across the pros and cons of the upcoming international break after a poor loss at the weekend.

The chance for some players to clear their heads and re-focus following the shock defeat could be useful going forward, but injuries and fatigue are a worry.

Emma Snerle is in the Denmark squad for the Algarve Cup, while Hawa Cissoko goes to the tournament with France.

Kateřina Svitková and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir are in line to face each other for the Czech Republic and Iceland respectively, while Mel Filis, Grace Fisk and Halle Houssein with all join up with England at lower age groups.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham Zone Michelle Irons assessed how the break could influence the team: “I think for our senior players like Dagny and Svitkova it will be a help, to keep them fit and focused for some tough fixtures coming up.

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“What I’m concerned about is them travelling to the USA with such a hectic schedule. It would be a huge blow if they caught Covid or sustained an injury.

“On a positive note it will give players like Lisa Evans time to recuperate and receive the right treatment to get her back into the starting XI. 

“With the younger contingent of Snerle, Fisk and Filis it will only help with their development. International players can sometimes benefit from time away and come back re-focused after a tough, unexpected defeat. 

“A player that’s been kept under the radar a bit is Adriana Leon. She appears to be making huge strides in her recovery and I’m looking forward to seeing her play regularly again. 

“For the players not involved it will once again give them time to focus on the day-to-day training, concentrate on some tough fixtures ahead, and look at finishing the season strongly.”

An international break following a bad result can go both ways, with either the defeat lingering in the mind for an extended period and no chance to put it right, or a break providing a chance to mentally reset.

An important FA Cup tie is up next against Reading so the Hammers will need to get the Leicester game out of their system before then to advance.

In other West Ham news, Chelsea’s pursuit of Declan Rice is reportedly in doubt.