Interview

‘These games are good for our mental strength’

Montemurro

Joe Montemurro was left frustrated following our 0-0 draw with Brighton in the Continental League Cup on Sunday.

It was the first time we’ve failed to score in a fixture since February - and the Seagulls then went on to secure an extra point with a 4-2 win on penalties.

Here’s what our head coach told Arsenal.com afterwards:

on whether it’s a frustrating result…
Absolutely. For me, it indicates the level of the WSL now. We’re playing against very good teams and they’re not walkover sides. We made a few changes today and we tried to rotate the squad a little bit. All of our squad will be playing a lot of international football this week too, so we wanted to freshen them up so that they’re right when they come back. No excuses. Brighton created a couple of good chances on the break and in the end they came out on top on penalties.

on whether we did enough in the final third…
I don’t think we were the clinical Arsenal that we always are in the final third. But as I’ve said before, we can say should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, and all that kind of stuff, but the reality is that part of the game is putting the ball in the back of the net and we couldn’t do it today.

on allowing room for error by winning our first two games in the competition…
We’ve set high standards for ourselves. We want to make sure that in every game we go into, we play to our style and keep our standards very, very high. It was a little bit disappointing that we were sloppy, not so much for the result, but because we could have done a few things a little nicer. That would have made things more pleasing. It’s one of those games, and this is why I like the Conti Cup. I like the group stage and I think these games are good for the mental strength of the squad.

on his message at half-time…
We tried to get Jill and Jordan a little lower to pull out their centre backs, because they’d obviously banked up in a four and a five. The reality is that we tried to lower our strikers so that their sixes and centre backs wouldn’t know whether to drop off or stay, which would create room underneath or beyond. It worked a couple of times, but not enough in the end.

on whether we became frustrated in our play…
We were looking for the killer blow and when you do that, you lose the moment.