Following Arsenal Ladies’ 4-2 win over Birmingham City at the Hive on Saturday, Gunners boss Pedro Losa spoke to Tim Stillman about the game, the injury situation, the price of blooding youngsters and next weekend’s game away at Manchester City.
On a sloppy first ten minutes, in which Arsenal fell behind after just 70 seconds…….
It was a very heavy pitch on Wednesday night [at Chelsea] and a game where we had to find an equaliser in the 94th minute and you could see that in the beginning of the game today. We did everything we could in terms of player recovery, in training, in letting the players have rest.
Sometimes you don’t know how you feel until you get out on the pitch and the whistle blows. But when you go through spells like the first ten minutes we had, you try to stay in the game, stay organised and stay concentrated. We have lots of quality so you know at some point that you can make something happen and we have great merit because that’s what we did today.
On finding the resources to win the game in the final 15 minutes…….
Sometimes you don’t know how much is in the brain and how much is in the legs and how much the legs affect the brain! We looked much better in the second half than the first half. This is an incredible group that wants to win and wants to learn every day.
The staff deserve a lot of credit for the recovery work they did, not just this week, but every day and so do the players for their determination. The staff can’t take care of every single detail, so the players take a lot of credit for going the extra mile.
On conceding 5 headed goals in 5 games in the Spring Series…….
It is definitely a concern and an area we will analyse. I am very impressed with Lotte [Wubben-Moy] and Anna [Patten], they are 18 and 17 years old and performing unbelievably. Today Rachel Williams scored 2 headed goals for Birmingham and she is probably the best in the league for headers. Maybe we are lacking that experience in defence.
We are developing our players in our system and we encourage our defenders to bring the ball out and play, which they do brilliantly. It is a big step up from the Development Team, where Arsenal win a lot of games easily, it takes time to adjust to the constant intensity in the WSL. But they will get used to it and that is what we wanted to use these games for, to develop these excellent young players.
On Kim Little’s fitness…..
We were planning a few minutes for Kim today from the bench, but next week she should be ready and that is a massive bonus for us.
On Louise Quinn scoring her first two Arsenal goals……
She brings experience to the squad, she is always positive, always trying to learn. She has played in the Champions League and has a good character. Louise is also intelligent in the way that she builds from the back and that is what we like at Arsenal and she is very good in the air, as we saw with her two goals today.
On Arsenal Ladies’ recent goalfests……
There have been a lot of goals, which is good for the fans. Fans always want to see goals, but as a coach, you tend to worry about not conceding them! But we knew conceding goals was a risk for the Spring Series because we want to give chances to young players.
If we think we need to improve the team for next season, we can do that in September. We have a lot of great young talent here and we think they will be ready for the WSL season in September. We would prefer to have the mistakes now than next season.