By Nik Brumsack
Laura Harvey insists winning home games is vital if Arsenal Ladies are to retain their Women’s Super League title.
Harvey’s side welcome Lincoln to Meadow Park on Sunday, five points clear of second-placed Everton with a game in hand, as the season reaches its climax.
Three of Arsenal’s final four league games are at home, before a tough-looking visit to Birmingham on the final day of the season. But with a flurry of fixtures looming at the end of September, boss Harvey is determined to secure the league title before then.
“We want to try and win every game at home, which is always our aim, and if we do that, then we’ll have won the league,” she told Arsenal.com.
“We just want to make sure the league stays in our control and we don’t have to look at other teams and what they’re doing. You don’t really want to get down to the final game of the season, against an opponent that you’re going to be playing against three days later in a cup final needing to secure the title.
“Hopefully, winning it at Boreham Wood is the ideal as well, in front of our home fans. We’ve got three weeks to do that and that’s our aim.”
The Gunners are still unbeaten in the league but, with three home fixtures against sides at the bottom of the table on the horizon, Harvey is adamant the squad will not become complacent.
“I think this year a good example would be the Chelsea game in the FA Cup semi-final. We were probably a little bit complacent in that game and got punished for it,” she said.
“So since then we’ve made sure that in every game we’ve played, that doesn’t come into account and I’m sure Sunday will be the same.”
Lincoln have won just three games this season, but are unbeaten in their last two matches against Arsenal. And Harvey is under no illusions that Mark Harris’ team will provide a threat on Sunday afternoon.
“They’re very good on set-pieces. When we were away at their ground, that was our problem, conceding-wise. Last year, when we brought them back to Boreham Wood, we showed our quality in terms of football across the pitch. They couldn’t live with us then,” she said.
“It’s being mindful of that, trying not to concede many set pieces and limiting the amount of times they can put the ball in the box. We want to get the ball down and play. I think if we do that, the result will take care of itself.”
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