Hope Powell says preparations for Albion Women’s game at home to West Ham have been challenging.

Albion head into the game off the back of an international break and Powell says there has been little turn-around.

She said: “It has been challenging because of the international break. The players have been away for a week or ten days.

“Many of them are just back so it is quite tough. It is difficult to prepare because we have Thursday and Friday. We are excited by the prospect of playing again especially after the bad result against Arsenal.

“Bad in many ways. The performance and the way we lost. The players are raring to go and right some wrongs.”

Albion suffered a 4-0 defeat away at Arsenal prior to the break, but it wasn’t the result that upset Powell.

She said: “It was the manner in which we lost I was not happy about and the players were not happy.

“Arsenal, with the depth and quality of their squad, it was always going to be a hard task.

“The way we played against Chelsea, that spirit and desire, it just was not there against Arsenal.

“Lose the game, fine that happens, but it was the manner. I was not happy at all.”

Powell’s side have made a good start to the season having only lost one of their four games in all competitions against and Albion’s manager says the start this campaign is a massive improvement from last.

She said: “It is a 100% improvement on last year. That is really encouraging.

“We learnt a lot from last year. The players appreciate how tough it is.

“It meant they really worked hard in pre-season, they know the levels they need to reach but we are in a better position in terms of the league standing so we have to take heart and encouragement from that.”

Albion take on West Ham tomorrow at the People’s Pension Stadium (2pm).

The Hammers are just above them in the table and Powell is prepared to face a completely different side to last season.

She said: “West Ham have had an overhaul of new players. Lots of top quality players. They are very direct and quick.

“They lost against Tottenham at home so they will have a point to prove. As we also have, so it will be another tough challenge.

“Hopefully our home support and the spirit of the girls will help us get something from the game.

Powell’s side now have four of their next five games at home, including the visit of Birmingham to the Amex on November 17.

She said: “It will be nice to get some momentum and the crowds are growing. We have sold in excess of 700 season tickets, plus another 300 tickets have been sold “If they all come, it will be a nice day. When the support is there, it encourages the girls to perform and, if we have those games on the bounce, it encourages them to come back.

“If it helps us, then fantastic. The travelling to away matches is tiring so we have to really take advantage of these home games.”

Arsenal and Manchester City have made 100% starts in the WSL and look set to battle it out for the title.

However, Powell says Chelsea cannot be discounted from the title race.

She added: “Those three teams are full of international players.

“With the players they have in those teams, they should be where they are.

“For everybody else the challenge is to cause them problems.

“We all want to win, we all want to be top but those teams have made a really good start. You can’t discount the other teams.

“Reading did well last year. The league is tougher and anything can happen, like in the Premier League.

“Who would have said Man City would lose to Wolves? Anything is possible.”