Arsenal Women boss Joe Montemurro issues rallying cry after Chelsea defeat: We need to keep believing

PUBLISHED: 14:07 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:14 14 January 2019

Arsenal Women's team manager Joe Montemurro. PA

Arsenal Women's team manager Joe Montemurro. PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The Islington Gazette interviewed Arsenal Women’s boss Joe Montemurro. Read on for what he told Layth Yousif after the Gunners valiant efforts against Chelsea Women on Sunday.

On Arsenal’s performance against the Blues in the 2-1 defeat…

First half we weren’t good enough. We were too long and we didn’t believe. We were punished by a team that was playing through us and around us, and we can’t give a team like Chelsea that sort of space.

On whether it’s frustrating Arsenal Women finished the game strongly…

The reality is that the three games in a week has taken its toll and with the amount of injuries racking up now, it’s getting a little bit difficult. We’re compromising and we just need to keep believing and keep going.

On the lack of energy from wide areas…

We attack through the wide areas and we had to attack with more of a restricted line today. It was very difficult for us to find our way. In the second half we made a few adjustments and that allowed us to play a little shorter, close the distances better and have more of the ball, but then that second goal killed us.

On Chelsea only conceding against Arsenal in the WSL this season…

That tells you a lot, doesn’t it. They were the better team for 70 minutes of the game and probably deserved the win.

On whether Arsenal missed the talented Van de Donk’s qualities…

Absolutely. Our ability to retain the ball was our biggest problem. We were relying on being a little more direct today and trying to hold off in the attacking third, but that wasn’t working in the first-half. In the second half we closed up the spaces and started to play a little more, but it took a while.

On finally attacking after going two goals down…

It’s frustrating because at 1-0, that’s when we should have really started pushing and going for it, and in truth, we didn’t really do much. I changed the formation a little bit and went for three at the back, which gave us a little more width from our wing backs, and that allowed us to expose them a little more. Blame me, maybe I should have done that earlier...

On fatigue in the squad…

We haven’t done much training at all. Training has been very, very light. It’s been more about rest, recovery and organisation. We lost Danielle yesterday to nothing too. We were just playing an 11 v 0 walkthrough, she went to kick the ball, and then it went. That’s fatigue.

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