Eidevall: 'We can build on our brilliant effort'

Jonas Eidevall believes that our "brilliant" effort and attitude deserved a better result after our narrow loss to Manchester United. 

Our head coach praised the spirit and resilience of our squad during a challenging match that dealt us yet another injury blow as Leah Williamson limped off after only 15 minutes.

Here is everything he had to say after the game: 

Not the result we wanted tonight but with so many different questions being asked of us right now, can you be proud of the way our team battled?

I told the players afterwards that from an effort and an attitude perspective, they were brilliant out there. It was such a difficult game for us, especially with Leah coming off so early with an injury: we lost leadership and we don’t have a lot of players who naturally play in that position. So it became a very challenging game for us.

But the players coming on, responding in tough moments in the game, I think they did excellently. That effort and that attitude we can build on. We will get more players back from injury and suspension as well, which will add quality to our squad. 

In the second half, we made a tactical tweak and regained a lot of control. A lot of positives there. What was your thinking behind that change?

Two major reasons for it. First thing was to have more control of the ball, so we wanted to move the positions so they didn’t have any direct opponents to press in their formation.

Second thing was that it was really important for us to get leadership on the pitch and who does that better than Jen Beattie? She came in and really gave us good calmness on the ball, good decision-making and good communication.

With a few players absent from the side at the moment, we’re seeing a lot of combinations that we’re not used to seeing. Combinations of players who haven’t played together. From your role as head coach, how do you make that transition as seamless as possible?

It’s a tough one because, of course, quality comes over time from playing together and perfecting that communication between players. I think it starts with effort and attitude on the pitch, staying positive, learning, thinking about the next action and how to do that better.

This group of players is amazing at doing that and we need to keep on doing that. That means we’re going to come through this tough time well. 

We saw at the end that we were really pushing for that equaliser. How much praise does this team deserve for their mentality by constantly trying to solve these problems? 

A lot. I told them after the Man City game when we turned that around that I was lost for words with the performance. I think they were just as great today with their effort, their attitude and their belief in getting something out of this game. 

Sometimes that doesn’t correlate with the result but you have to keep praising that because, in the end, that’s what gets you results.

Looking ahead to Sunday, what better opportunity to bounce back than a Champions League semi-final? 

Exactly. It’s a great occasion. We need to do everything in our power to get players back to recover, to refresh and then we’re going to do our very best. 

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