By Nik Brumsack
Laura Harvey says it’s imperative her Arsenal Ladies crown their impressive campaign by completing a domestic double.
Harvey’s team take on Birmingham City Ladies in the final of the Continental Cup at Underhill on Wednesday evening, looking to add to the Women’s Super League title they retained last month.
And after going through the whole league season undefeated, Harvey is urging her squad to put the gloss on what has been a remarkable year by defending the trophy they won against the Blues in 2011.
“We need to come away with at least two trophies to justify what a good season we’ve had. At the moment one out of three, I’m not sure justifies how dominant we’ve been,” Harvey told Arsenal.com.
“It’s so good when we play against a team like Birmingham, because it brings us back to the reality that everyone wants to beat us.
“We have to manage that, we have to deal with that and we have to be able to go out and prove that we’re the team that’s full of winners.
“That’s why we’re so successful. We just want to go out and win and tomorrow will be no different.”
One player likely to miss out on Wednesday is central midfielder Jordan Nobbs, while Harvey admits she has a “fantastic headache” over who will start up front.
“Jordan got an injury against Barcelona that has flared up,” Harvey said.
“She doesn’t get injured very often, so you know when she does, she’s hurt - she was walking on crutches on Sunday. The signs aren’t good but we’re doing everything we can to get her fit.”
“Kelly Smith has needed minutes and we’ve had to get her back on track but I think she’s nearly there now and she brings so much quality to our group,” Harvey added.
“Ellen and Jennifer have really stepped up their game over the past couple of weeks. Jennifer is such a different option to have. It’s whether you start with it or bring her off the bench when the other team are tired. It’s always tough to consider.”
Birmingham again came second in the WSL this season, and held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw on Sunday. And striker Smith says the Ladies know they face a tough task at Underhill.
“They’ve got a lot of England internationals, just like us,” she said. “They won the FA Cup and will be wanting to win the double just as much as we do.
“Anything can happen on cup final day and both teams are going to be really up for it.”