By Giuseppe Muro
Stephanie Houghton believes last season’s FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Everton is added motivation for Arsenal to win the trophy for a record 11th time when they face Bristol Academy.
The established England international, who joined the Club last summer, was not part of the side that lost at the City Ground but says Cup Final heartache is still very much fresh in the minds of Laura Harvey’s players.
Arsenal had enjoyed a 100 per cent record in ten FA Cup Finals until Everton upset the odds to snatch a 3-2 victory late in extra-time and Houghton wants no repeat in Saturday’s showpiece.
“I know they do not want to go through that losing feeling again,” she said. “We just need to make sure we are prepared on the day. We are taking nothing for granted.
“There was a lot of talk of revenge when we played Everton in the Fifth Round and that Final defeat really spurred all the girls on. To be a part of finals like this is the reason I joined Arsenal.
“I’ve been to a few finals previously but the FA Cup Final is one of the biggest days in the women’s calendar. Arsenal have obviously been to quite a few finals in the past and I’m sure we can all draw some experience from those.”
Opponents Bristol Academy have started their Women’s Super League campaign reasonably well and boast some experienced players, including captain and former Gunner Corinne Yorston, among their ranks. Houghton knows it won’t be easy.
“They are well-organised, difficult to beat and they have got some good individual players and internationals as well.
“We have played them twice in the WSL and we know they are going to be hard to beat. It’s more important that we focus on our own performance.
“We want to make this trophy ours, but we have to prepare properly because we know Bristol are going to be a tough team to beat.
“We have played a lot of good teams this year and we know that if we perform how we know we can then the result will take care of itself.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source