Cup final experience can help Arsenal Ladies against Manchester City, says skipper
PUBLISHED: 07:44 16 October 2014
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Skipper Alex Scott hopes the Gunners’ experience in finals can give them the edge as they defend their Continental Cup crown against Manchester City on Thursday night.
The Arsenal defender is aiming to complete a hat-trick of Continental Cup successes in tonight’s final, having returned to the club soon after they won the inaugural trophy in 2011.
Victory at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park (kick-off 7.45pm) would extend Arsenal’s remarkable record in knockout competitions and seal their third domestic cup double in the last four years.
By contrast, City – captained by Steph Houghton, who led the Gunners to victory over Lincoln in last year’s Continental Cup final – are seeking the first major trophy in their history.
“It’s going to be weird, given that Steph was leading us out last year and now she’s with the opposition,” said Scott.
“But it’s not about previous players who used to be here – it’s about this new group and the players who have emerged, like Leah Williamson.
“When you look at our team, there are a lot of youngsters, but they’ve had the experience of the FA Cup final [in June], so hopefully they won’t be too nervous.
“And the veterans around them can help to settle any nerves they might have. Going into a final anything can happen, but hopefully we’ll draw on our experience and recent history.
“City have just beaten a strong Chelsea side, but I think we’ll match up nicely. They like to play attacking football and so do we, hopefully the fans will come down and we’ll give them a good game.”
Arsenal finished their Women’s Super League campaign on Sunday with a 3-1 victory against bottom side Everton – their only home win of the season and a result that ensured fourth place in the final table.
The Gunners were never involved in the title race, which was eventually won by Liverpool after a thrilling three-way climax, but Scott feels they can be satisfied with their efforts this season.
“I didn’t actually realise it was our first home win,” admitted the right-back, who turned 30 earlier this week. “That’s something we’re going to have to address going into next season.
“Overall we need to take the positives from this season. We started really poorly but when you look at it overall I think we’re happy to finish in fourth position.
“Look at Chelsea – they were going for the title and now they’ve come away with nothing. We could potentially come away with two trophies, so that would be a successful season.
“For anyone to say that’s not a good season is crazy – at the end of the day you want medals to show for all your hard work and if we can come away with two trophies, we’ve got to take that as a positive.”