‘There was pressure... but wins like this are key’


We played our part in Women’s Super League history on Sunday, as a record 38,262 people watched us win the north London derby.

The atmosphere and occasion spurred Tottenham on throughout the opening 45 minutes, but we found our flow shortly after the break, with Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema finding the back of the net to secure a memorable 2-0 victory.

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

on the derby victory…
I thought we were a little sloppy in the first half with our positioning and there were a couple of incidents that allowed them to gain a bit of confidence on the break. Our second-half performance was very good, however, because we regained our shape and took a couple of our chances.

on the way teams set up against us…
In the game against Brighton you saw that they played a very deep block, hit us on the break and got a little bit of joy through that so I think a lot of teams are now looking at that gameplan and think that’s a way to unlock us. The pressure of expectation is there as reigning champions and every game from now is going to be a challenge. These are the most important games because they’re teams that we are expected to win against, with all due respect to every team because they are all good teams but at the end of the season these are the games that will be very important.

on his words at half-time… 
First of all, we pointed no fingers and we just got into the game and I told them to forget about the first half. I just showed them how I wanted the structure to look in the second half and I tried to give them the energy and the confidence to keep believing in the way we play because we knew if we stuck to our principles we would win in the end and it paid off.

on Kim Little’s goal…
Kim works on those finishes in training and we expect it to come on game day but there were also a few more opportunities in front of goal where it was just a matter of placing it in bottom corners but we opted against and that’s where I feel we could have had a couple more.

on the importance of scoring the first goal… 
We had a few chances to break into the box and I think we got behind their defence four or five times in the first half and in the second half but in the end the skill of the game is to put the ball into the net and we did that today.

on the record-breaking attendance…
It was great to have that many people here and it’s an amazing arena, I hope we’ve created the benchmark for many more games to be played at places like this in years to come. I said to the team before they came out that this was a special occasion and challenged them to make history today. I wanted us to get the result but I also wanted us to spark a massive rivalry for years to come.

on the travelling fans… 
Our fans were brilliant today, it was great to see the faces of the guys that are always at our games. They follow us up and down the country and abroad but hopefully we’ve given the appetite for new fans to come and regularly watch us so it was great to see some new faces too.

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