By Joe Brewin
Rachel Yankey admits Arsenal Ladies’ difficult run in May could have been the wake-up call they needed to improve their level of performance this season.
Laura Harvey’s side have bounced back strongly from a run of one win in four last month - a disappointing stretch by their standards - with convincing victories over Bristol and Chelsea.
Arsenal avenged their FA Cup semi-final defeat with a 3-0 Continental Cup victory over the latter on Sunday and Yankey believes the team are beginning to find their feet once more.
“People are used to seeing Arsenal win and win convincingly,” the winger told Arsenal.com. “There were a few games where we were winning but weren't playing well, but if you lose a game it is just highlighted and people start to panic.
“I think we knew that we had to play better and we have known that for a while. We stuck together, battled through it and hopefully we can continue on a winning streak.”
Victory over the Blues booked a lat-four place against Bristol as the Gunners look to defend their Continental Cup crown. Harvey’s side registered a 3-0 win over their close rivals in the Women’s Super League two weeks ago - but Yankey expects a entirely different challenge next time around.
“I think Bristol will be a tougher game [than two weeks ago] when we play them in the semi-finals,” said the 32-year-old. “That was a game where everything we had tried to do this season had actually started to work for us and I think we played well in that game.
“It was positive for us and I felt that we could have even scored more goals to take more of an advantage. We will go into the semi-finals with confidence but I think it will be a lot tougher than the game we have just had.
“It was great [to beat Chelsea], we knew what we had to do and obviously as players we wanted to go out there and beat them. We were disappointed that we lost to them in the FA Cup semi-final, which was a game we believe we could have won.
“It was only really our own fault that we didn't go through to the final and it was for us to learn from it and make sure it didn't happen again. So we had to prove that right on Sunday, which we did.”Copyright 2016 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