‘I’m proud of them... but this one hurts’

Joe Montemurro expressed his pride in his team after they narrowly lost to Chelsea in the Continental League Cup final on Saturday.  

Despite conceding early on, we were arguably the better side throughout the match and deservedly equalised with five minutes to go, before Bethany England’s injury-time strike secured victory for the Blues.

We spoke to our head coach at full time and this is what he said:

on his thoughts after the match…

I’m exceptionally proud of the team. This one has hurt, we did enough and more to probably win that game, but we didn’t.


on Chelsea’s opening goal…

It’s what they do. We worked and contained the five or six times that it happened but they got us on the first one. All of the goals that we’ve studied that we’ve conceded against Chelsea have been second phase situations where we haven’t dealt with and that was simple.

on his side’s reaction…

I think we should have been level at the break, very much so. Two or three golden opportunities before the break to probably go into half-time with parity, but I was always confident that if we continued to play like we did in the first-half we were going to get something out of it. It’s moments that define cup finals and unfortunately the moment at the end was the difference.

on our equaliser…

Again, I’m going to sound very biased and pro Arsenal but the reality is that there was never a concern in terms of that game and us not getting something out of it. I can’t be any more prouder because of the way we played and the amazing attitude and maturity that our team showed.

on Leah Williamson’s performance…

I’m proud of her. I’ve asked her to do a different role because our options in that area have been limited through injuries. I never had an issue that she wouldn’t be okay in doing that role and it’s a tough one. I thought we did enough to make sure we’d finish that game off but we didn’t.


how to manage the squad after the defeat…

I can’t fault the group. We have to be strong, we have to believe on the journey, we have to believe in the fact that we’re always there. Getting in cup final where we’re dominating games. In the end football will win, I’m a great believer in that and maybe my stubbornness comes from that perspective but there’s so much you can defend in transition football that doesn’t come back to bite you because good teams will always win on the day.

By Sam Cox

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