Arsenal midfielder aims to finish difficult season with cup success

Arsenal Ladies' Jordan Nobbs battles with Kathleen Radtke of Manchester City Women (right) during th

Arsenal Ladies' Jordan Nobbs battles with Kathleen Radtke of Manchester City Women (right) during the Gunners' 1-0 win in the Continental Cup - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is determined to finish her frustrating season on a high by helping the Gunners to regain the Continental Cup.

Nobbs missed out on a large chunk of the domestic campaign with a knee injury and had to sit out key games as Arsenal’s Women’s Super League title challenge ultimately faltered.

Now the Continental Cup – a trophy the Gunners won three times before losing last year’s final to Manchester City – is the only silverware still available to them.

Having avenged their 2014 defeat by overcoming City 1-0 in last week’s quarter-final, Nobbs and her team-mates will now face Birmingham on Sunday at Meadow Park, Borehamwood (kick-off 3pm) for a place in the last four.

“Man City were disappointed because they wanted to win it again, but I think we showed what we can do,” said the 22-year-old. “If we put in a performance like that, we’ll definitely win the trophy.

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“Whoever we play, we need to be trying to win a trophy because we’re Arsenal FC. That’s still a major stepping stone for our club and we want to win any trophy we can.

“I was out for about three months earlier this season, so it is hard, but I am feeling better and better with each game I play.

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“I would have liked to get a few more games under my belt, but hopefully I’ve done what I can to be a major part of this team and I also want to be a major part of winning that Continental Cup.”

The Gunners finished their league campaign in third place after a 1-0 win over Birmingham on Sunday, with Natalia – who also scored the winner in the cup quarter-final – netting the only goal early in the second half.

While the result was not enough to secure Champions League football, it ensured that Arsenal will go into the cup semi-final in good form, with a second successive clean sheet.

Manager Pedro Martinez Losa feels the performances of goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal have been crucial to Arsenal’s defensive improvement in recent weeks.

The Dutch international, who joined the club from FC Twente in July, is currently keeping long-serving Gunners no 1 Emma Byrne on the bench.

“I always say we are lucky to have two fantastic goalkeepers and we have the problem to decide,” said Losa.

“Emma was playing at the beginning of the season, now we have decided Sari is the one but we are happy with both.

“I think she’s given confidence to the two centre-backs, Casey Stoney and Jemma Rose, and in the last couple of months it’s incredible how well they have been performing.

“I think they all feel comfortable with each other. That’s very important for helping us to keep the clean sheets and get a good performance.”

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