It has been a different type of season for Kim Little, but it still has the potential to be just as successful as the last one.
The midfielder bagged 23 goals in all competitions last term as Arsenal Ladies marched to another Super League crown as well as the FA Continental Cup.
However, the PFA Women’s Footballer of Year has adapted her role in the team to a deeper-lying position at the heart of the Gunners’ midfield and has only managed four goals thus far.
"Playing in that deeper role has been good because I have still been able to get on the ball a lot and create chances"
But the 22-year-old Scot has enjoyed her new responsibility and believes she still has the ability to contribute more goals from that position during Arsenal’s league run-in.
“Playing in that deeper role has been good because I have still been able to get on the ball a lot and create chances,” Little told Arsenal.com. “I still think I can score goals from this position and I feel a responsibility to do that so hopefully I can score a few more in the rest of the games this season.”
Little has developed an excellent midfield partnership with the in-form Jordan Nobbs and she was full of praise for her team-mate’s contribution this season.
“Jordan has got a lot of energy going forward and her movement is really good as well so she creates a lot of space for me to get on the ball,” said Little. "We change positions as well so sometimes I push forward and she sits a bit deeper so it’s hard for opposing teams to mark us.”
Shelley Kerr’s team have been in fine form since returning from the summer break and will close the gap to Liverpool at the summit of the league with a win over Chelsea. Little remains confident that the team’s experiences of previous league successes will give them the edge as the competition nears its’ climax.
“I think the experience of being champions will help because we have been in this position so many times where we are playing must-win games so hopefully we can use those experiences as an advantage over other teams for the rest of the season.
“But Chelsea will be a tough game because they have quick strikers and a good midfield so we will have to be strong defensively. They haven’t had the best results recently but they beat Liverpool earlier on in the season so that proves they are a dangerous team.”
The Blues have recently added Japanese midfielder Yuki Ogimi to their squad and Little thinks she will be one of the players that Arsenal will have to watch out for tomorrow.
“She is a typical Japanese player because she is really good on the ball and has the ability to create something out of nothing. We played against her in the Champions League when she was at Turbine Potsdam and she was a tough opponent”
With the games now coming thick and fast, Arsenal, along with other clubs have increased the number of training sessions to a minimum of four times a week but Little has relished this decision and said it can only improve the team’s fitness as they begin a busy schedule over the next few months.
“It's been great for the team to be able to train more as a group and to get on the ball so much more. It helps us a lot, particularly when we play Champions League games and coming up against professional teams.
“With teams like Chelsea and Liverpool training more we definitely have to as well.”
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