Jonas Eidevall is delighted that we’ll be back in Barclays Women’s Super League action at Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
This weekend’s game against Aston Villa represents an opportunity for us to put right the wrongs from our previous home game - a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool.
Assessing his team’s recent run of results at Emirates Stadium, Jonas saw plenty of positives last season.
“We played Chelsea there in January, which I think was a strong performance and we conceded in the last minutes of the game,” he said. “Then we beat Bayern Munich 2-0 there in the Champions League quarter-final and then we had a draw against Wolfsburg and took them to overtime and were some inches away from playing a Champions League final, so for me, is it a problem for us playing at the Emirates? Not at all.
“Am I really happy for us to go back to the Emirates so quickly after what I thought was a disappointing performance against Liverpool? Absolutely. Let’s show the audience another version of ourselves.”
Speaking more generally around the subject of demand for tickets in women’s football, Jonas said that having back-to-back league fixtures are Emirates Stadium is a positive sign.
“Such an important part of how we want to grow is to make Emirates Stadium our fortress, and doing that together with the audience,” he explained in his pre-match press conference. “That's not going to be achieved only by the team - that has to be the team and fans in co-operation. They need to live the moments together, they need to energise each other.
“It goes both ways for us to create that bond, and we need to transform what we have at Borehamwood, onto the Emirates. How we do that is playing more often at Emirates, creating those situations more often so that we get better at it. I think this is a really strong moment where we're playing back-to-back league games at the Emirates.
“I think if you go back three or four years and looked at playing at the major stadiums, it was a one-off occasion. It was done around Europe, but it was sort of these 'one time per season' kind of things. Give away a lot of tickets and try to get some attendances. And then the week after, what happened then with attendances? Where was the next game being played a week after? Very few clubs has been managing to do this, week by week, back to back.
“If we want to talk sustainability with attendance figures, if we want to talk sustainability about maybe moving permanently to the Emirates, that's what we need to show - as a team, but also with our fans, to say that we can have good attendance figures back-to-back at Emirates Stadium.
“Week in, week out - that's where we need to get to and that's when the Emirates can become a real strength for the women's team. We're on that journey. We're not fully there yet, but we're on that journey. And that makes me extremely proud and extremely optimistic about the future.”
Click here to read everything Jonas had to say in his pre-Aston Villa press conference.
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