Despite seeing his team defeated 3-2 by Wolfsburg to end our Women’s Champions League dreams at the semi-final stage, Jonas Eidevall was filled with pride and love for his players.
A late goal in the second half of extra-time saw the German side reach the final 5-3 on aggregate, in front 60,063 supporters inside Emirates Stadium - a record crowd for a domestic women's game in England.
And after seeing his patched-up side battle their way to the brink of a penalty shootout to try and set up a meeting with Barcelona in the showpiece in Eindhoven, the boss admitted he was suffering with a mixture of emotions at coming so close.
“The occasion was incredible,” he said post-match. “To have all these supporters in the stands, that gave us so much energy. To see the team putting in such a magnificent performance and once again showing that they can overcome adversities and challenges - that fills me with a lot of pride.
“Then of course I also feel empty, as it’s a game of really small margins, and the margins were not on our side today. I feel sorry for everyone - the players and the fans - that we didn’t get those margins right today but unfortunately that’s sport.
“We need to use this as a foundation of how teamwork looks like, and if we can do that for the rest of the season and the seasons to come, I think we’re on a really strong foundation that will deliver results.”
We went into the game without the likes of Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Kim Little and Caitlin Foord through injury, and then Eidevall had to reshuffle the pack again when substitute Laura Wienroither lasted just 18 minutes before being stretchered off.
But yet again this season the players adapted despite the adversity, and continue to impress the manager with how they never give up despite all the obstacles thrown in their path.
“It’s astonishing the way they apply themselves out on the pitch,” he added. “It’s a never give up attitude, it’s a think-next attitude. They’re fearless, it’s 100 per cent and they put the team first and they make me proud, but I think they make all the supporters proud with the way they apply themselves.
“I’ve got nothing but love for them for the way they reacted and performed, both the players on the pitch and the ones off the pitch. It’s a holistic thing that makes this team unique and the energy that they create together. I’ve got nothing but love for that.
“We speak about this being a day of history for the club to have the first sell-out game at the Emirates for the women’s team, and I think you can see that both the players and the fans created something special out there tonight. I hope we can create many more days like that in the future.”
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