Robert’s verdict: “This game gave us a lot of self-confidence”

Robert Vilahamn was full of praise for the way his players went toe-to-toe with Arsenal in Wednesday night’s Continental Tyres League Cup clash.

We took the lead three times thanks to goals from Martha Thomas and a brace from Jessica Naz in this intense derby, which served as something of a warm-up for the teams’ massive Women’s Super League match on Saturday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, the Gunners equalized on each and forced a 3-3 draw.

Following a draw, the match went to penalties in Group D for an additional point, which Arsenal won 4-3. Robert observed a few encouraging signs as we continue to prepare for our meeting in N17 on Saturday.

“We played some really good football, attacking football, we dared to play out from the back, we dared to play through their press, we created some really nice chances and scored three beautiful goals,” he said. “It was a really good game for us to have because we bounced back from the two previous results (defeats to Manchester City and Manchester United in the WSL) and showed the fans that we can play some really good football.

We felt really confident after this game that we can play well, score goals, defend, and block shots. All in all, I think it was a terrific approach to get back on track and ensure that we play well on Saturday. I am excited to be at that stadium, it will be the biggest game I have ever coached, and I hope we have a large turnout. Saturday is going to be incredible, and all I can hope for is that the public shows up to cheer on these incredible athletes.

On Wednesday night, Martha and Jess played a clinical defense against the goal for us, and Robert gave them both credit for their efforts.

“If you look at Martha playing as a 10 now, she’s finding the pockets, she played through balls, she’s also in the box and scoring goals – she’s adapting so well but she’s so clever as a player so it’s easy to work with her,” he said.

Jess Naz hasn’t been playing too much but she’s taking steps all the time. Today she played as a nine and her threat in behind and her finishing in those situations is world-class, so it’s nice to see her development.”


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