How playing with a back three helps our attack


Another game, another standout performance from Leah Williamson.

The England international was deployed as a right-sided centre back in a back three on Sunday and assisted twice as we cruised to a 4-0 victory over Brighton at the People’s Pension Stadium.

We spoke to Williamson after the game - and this is what she said:

on starting with a back three…

We wanted to be a bit more secure and lower players a little bit, it’s a brave move from us because when you lower players, the defenders have more space to defend. It was an attacking decision, we knew they were going to drop off and that we needed to move them around and having a back three was the best way to do that. At some point they were going to have to come out and that’s when we can get through.

on registering three assists in two games…

I’d not had one for a while, so I was due! Just pulling my weight I suppose. I’m not sure I can really count the DvD goal as an assist she ran half the length of the pitch. She thanked me for the pass and I said, ‘Honey, thank you, you’ve just given me an assist!’

on playing more precise passes on a dry, bumpy pitch…

We had a conversation internally about that, but Brighton play with a high line, so the game was begging for it today. It’s hard to keep the ball on the floor on the pitch so it was an option to be more direct, but we had a discussion internally and asked the attackers what they wanted from us and that’s why we went that way.

on the importance of an early goal…

It was so important, at some point they have to step out and at 1-0 down they can’t just sit in then. You know that a Hope Powell team is going to be very well organised so getting the early goal was crucial to get them to step out and when they did, that’s when we went for them.

on making sure not to drop off in the second half…

We weren’t entirely satisfied with the performance in the first half and you have to predict how they’re going to change things in the second half. I think they nullified the threat of me and Viki [Schnaderbeck] stepping on with the ball and playing out. That changed the game a bit but the requirement was to kick on and do the same again in the second half, because we weren’t the best in the second half last week in terms of tempo and intensity.

on league games coming up against Chelsea and Manchester City…

This is what we play for, these periods of the season, for it to be this close at the top and you want to be in a competitive league where every game matters. The form we’re in and the way things are going and the mood in the squad are all very good, so bring it on.

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