Losa on the win, injuries and the future

Pedro Martinez Losa spoke to the media after Arsenal Ladies’ 3-0 win against Notts County in the Continental Cup final. This is what he said:

on it being difficult…There is never an easy game in this competition. We wanted to win the game, this has not just been in the final, it was the same against Birmingham City. The players are really competitive here and one of the important characteristics here is the honesty that the players believe everything. Notts County had some very experienced players. Ellen White, Rachel Williams, Jess Clarke are players with experience and are used to winning trophies and being in the same situation that we are in today. We knew the difficulty of the game but at the same time we are proud of the result and the way we played.

on the injuries he had…It is something we were working hard for. It is not the moment to complain. With injuries from the World Cup, it was a tricky position to manage the players and now it is good to see them play good football. So it is good to see them happy and healthy and winning the trophy as I think they deserved it.

on how we feels about winning…I won when I was in Spain and I won when I was in America. I say that the last one is always the best one so it is the best feeling, especially as I work for this club. Hopefully I can work for this club for a long time as I worked with this group of players for a long time. They are very hard working and it is important to have that reward. It is good to play good football and win games but we need to bring trophies to this club.

on Notts County’s style of play...I think we knew the game was going to be like that as obviously Liverpool was the same. They are aggressive. When we played against them in the league them home and away it was the same and the manager is a good manager and they believe in what they do. They are organised and they have an idea, they are aggressive. Especially the three players up top, they are very dangerous, very mobile and we needed to defend. They have players like Laura Bassett, Rachel Williams and Jess Clarke and they are top players. They played up the pitch and we wanted to play in possession and you have to go to the same level of aggression and intensity. In the first minute it was difficult, as they were occupying the pitch and they were pressing and I think we found a way before the red card. We found a way to combine and be dangerous on occasions. During the game, we knew that was probably going to be easier but we were very concentrated in this situation. I think we played very well.

on the red card…It looks like an aggressive tackle but I’m not the one to speak about referees. We had been due a decision from tackles in the game because of injuries [we've had] like Vicky Losada, Leah Williamson and Kelly Smith, and I have never complained. I think it is part of football to respect the referees. Obviously, when you play with that level of aggression, the referees can decide to show cards and the way we play is more different, so for us it is difficult to see red cards but it is depending on the circumstance. I will not put a reason for the final whistle and red card. Obviously from the opposite side I understand that you are planning a way and wanting to play a certain way and it makes the game more difficult for them.

on missing players…The big challenge this year has been losing players and recovering players. Today we didn’t have Dan Carter. Carter has been phenomonal in the last two or three games and we also didn’t have Alex Scott who is our captain. Other games we didnt have Vicky Losada, Jordan Nobbs especially. Jordan Nobbs, since she has came back, we have won all of our games so [that typifies] the level of the players, also the character of the players and the character this evening. She scored two goals but also made the players around her better, making the team play better and having the confidence to play difficult passes on the pitch. Sometimes it can go for a player like Jade Bailey today who played very well. I think they can feed each other. Jade is doing the job for Jordan and Vicky, both with a lot of talent, especially Jordan who scored two fantastic goals. Obviously you can’t ask her for more.

On the level Arsenal are at…I think sincerely, my feeling is we are very close, the games we play against them in all competitions are close. We beat Manchester City twice, they beat us. We beat Chelsea in the Continental Cup and they beat us in the FA Cup and in the league when we played at home. Sincerely, I think the key games against Chelsea and Manchester City at home, we didn’t have key players. It is not an excuse if at the end Arsenal are not playing in the mens game one day without Ozil or Alexis or Cazorla, it is more difficult. Saying that, I think when we lost those two games there was a five-point difference, and if you lose one game then they have three points which you don’t have. I think the difference is minimal and we are closer and closer and at that moment we have that feeling in the team. The players and I think we are making changes in the club and the professional level of the players, the club is moving forward quickly, and I think that there is a guarantee that they will be at the top of the table for the next 10 years. How many trophies we will win I don’t know, maybe one year we will win maybe another we won’t win. That is a good position for the club and with younger players we have [like] Chloe Kelly who is 17 years old, Carla Humphrey, Leah Williamson who is still 19, Dominique Janssen who is 20, even Jordan is 22 and Corredera is 24, Vicky Losada 24. There is a future.

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