Montemurro – Why we changed to three at the back


Joe Montemurro’s side picked up their fifth consecutive win in the Women’s Super League on Sunday - and once again, there were a number of tactical changes on show.

Less than a week after beating Chelsea 5-0 with four at the back, Montemurro opted to field three defenders against Reading, with Katie McCabe operating in central midfield for the first time this season. 

We spoke to Montemurro after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

on the team’s performance...

Obviously we pushed more numbers forward and stopped them playing through because they have very good players that can unlock you through their movement so it was very important that we pressed a little higher and played a little higher - and we got the rewards for it. 

on changing formation…

I think we’re confident enough now to match up with teams and we’re confident enough to be a little more proactive to step in. We have a goalkeeper now who’s very, very good with distribution so she’s the extra player going forward and that’s very important. That allows us a defender to step into midfield or an extra player to step into midfield to give us those overloads, so it’s all about creating an extra player in the situation and moving forward from there. 

on the importance of being able to play in a number of systems…

That’s modern football. Modern football is fluidity and having players who can play in a number of positions and adapt. I keep on saying that the set up is for the newspaper. 3-4-3, 4-4-2, whatever it is they’re figures for the newspaper. It’s important that you adapt to the situation. If there’s a pass. there’s a pass, if there’s an extra player, there’s an extra player,  and we’re good enough at finding these areas and that’s why I’m trying to educate the girls in these situations.

on the midfield stepping up in Little’s absence…

We construct, we build, we wait for teams to come to us and then we find the spaces. The more we can keep the ball, the more teams become frustrated and then they come to us and they’ll eventually open up, so we need to be smart in terms of finding those spaces.

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