Arsenal Women

Interview

‘I don’t feel nerves… that’s why I’m on pens!'

Little

Penalties can be nerve-wracking for even the most experienced players, but not for Kim Little.

With the score tied at 1-1 on Sunday and Women’s Champions League qualification on the line, our captain stepped up in the 94th minute to rifle a penalty into the top corner.

We spoke to Little after the game - and here’s what she had to say:

on her emotions at the final whistle…
A little bit relieved, yeah! I think we played pretty well today, but we relaxed in the second half a bit and allowed them back into the game, which was disappointing because they weren’t in it. It’s just nice to go into the last two games of the season knowing we’ve basically got Champions League confirmed! That’s great.

on her nerves for the penalty…
Oh, fine! I don’t really feel nerves, I think that’s why I’m on it!

on our overall performance…
I think overall an away game against Everton is always going to be tough. They’ve got great players and I think to come away from this game with three points is the only thing we need to think about. In this last little bit of the season it’s been really positive with the way that we’ve played and maintained our winning streak to get what we wanted in terms of Champions League, so I’m really pleased.

on where Everton troubled us…
They sat deep initially and then they gradually moved higher throughout the game, and I think with that you need to change your game and it took us slightly too long to adjust the speed of our movements to get on the ball when they press high. They’ve got quite explosive players, so that can make it hard to build out.

on whether we should have dealt with Finnigan’s equaliser better…
Without a doubt. We knew that they’d be a threat with balls into the box and I’ll need to see it back to review it, but we can’t switch off in those moments.

on her pride at leading this team into another Champions League season…
It was so disappointing to miss out on it last year, so I’m glad to be back in it for next season! We can’t wait to get going.

Interview

'Katie's developed into a world-class player'

Joe Montemurro could not hold Katie McCabe in any higher regard.

Our No 15 agreed a new long-term deal this week, having flourished under the Australian's coaching.

We caught up with Montemurro after McCabe signed the dotted line. This is what he had to say:

on how pleased he is to keep Katie...
Katie McCabe is probably one of the highlights of the last three or four years here. It's been a project which has been an exciting one. She's been thrown every challenge from the day we brought her back on loan and she's developed into a world-class, left-sided player. All credit to her, she personifies exactly what we want from our squad. 

on her importance growing...
She's relished the leadership roles, she's relished the challenge of becoming a better player and she's the perfect example of making sure that you achieve whatever you want to achieve. I still think there's a lot more to come. 

on this being her best season...
She's up there in the assist stats in the league. I think that doesn't just personify Katie's importance but also the contribution she's made to the team in the way we want to play, and she's relished taking on all the challenges we've thrown at her, in terms of positional play, attacking more in numbers. All credit to her because there's still a lot more to come. 

on her being a passionate player...
The pictures that come to mind straight away are when we won the league and Katie was just going crazy in the changing rooms. I think she was the first one to get the champagne bottles! It's her great character and I don't want her to ever change. I want her to always relish the great moments, always enjoying them and always pushing herself to be better. She's just great to have around every day.

on how much better she can be...
It's really up to her. I think she's found a really good spot at Arsenal, a really good position in terms of just being able to play her game. But I also think that there's a massive amount of belief in her to get better and she knows that. She believes in everything we're doing and I just hope she takes on more challenges. The exciting thing for me is that she's not just locked in as a full back. She can play centrally, out side or in three or four different positions. She personifies the modern footballer.

04:26

Women: Brighton 0-4 Arsenal | Highlights

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