Press conference

Eidevall on Wolfsburg, Blackstenius and Little

Jonas Eidevall

Jonas Eidevall is feeling confident ahead of our second meeting with Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals.

Our head coach saw his side secure a late draw at Emirates Stadium last week, courtesy of a thumping Lotte Wubben-Moy finish from a Tobin Heath free-kick, but he knows we’ll have to be at our best on Thursday night if we’re going to book our place in the next round of the competition.

Eidevall faced the media at the Volkswagen Arena on Wednesday afternoon – and this is what he had to say:

on our preparations for this match after the Tottenham postponement…
Of course, we were really disappointed not to play a game that we were very much looking forward to playing, but we had a restructure and reschedule of the whole weekend and replaced it with some more focused training instead. I think it leaves us well prepared for the game tomorrow, but it also would have been the case if we had the game on Saturday.

on whether Iwabuchi, Foord and Rafaelle are available…
Some, but not all. I’m not going to go into more detail than that, you will find out with the line-up.

on the importance of Stina Blackstenius…
The reason I wanted Stina to come is because when I evaluated us against top European opposition, domestically or internationally, her running in behind was a dimension we missed, and it made it difficult to solve some of those situations when we were being pressed. Of course, it is really important to have players who are really strong at running in behind and some players who are strong at receiving the ball in front of the defensive line. When you have both, you force the opponent to prioritise and which space they want to be compact in. It’s important for us but it’s important for any team in the world playing football.

on Kim Little’s influence…
She is phenomenal. The standards she puts on herself every day, it's phenomenal to see and training yesterday was no exception and I don't think the game tomorrow will be an exception. Kim Little is a legend, period. She's a legend in the Champions League, she's a legend at Arsenal, she's a legend in the Women's Super League and in the Scottish national team. She shows it week in, week out. She's the best example that I have come across of a player who leads by example.

on the first leg…
In terms of scoring opportunities, 1-1 was a fair result, but we should have created more situations from the positions that we got ourselves into. If we had been more skilled in 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3 situations in the final third, we would have gotten way more out of the game. From a stats perspective, we were twice as often in the final third as they were, but we didn’t create as much from that. That’s somewhere we need to be more efficient. The margins are so small, but that’s why we love this stage of the tournament. Everything is at stake.

on our chances of reaching the semi-finals…
It's very hard to reach the semi-finals in the most prestigious club tournament, but this is where we want to be, these are the games we want to play and prove ourselves in. Of course, it's nine years ago since the club were last there playing and I think it was Wolfsburg who they were playing. We know it's going to be hard, but like I said before I 100 per cent believe it's possible for us.

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