Rehanne's five-point preview - Chelsea
Tue 04 May 2021, 19:00|Tottenham Hotspur
With the end of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL) season fast approaching, our focus shifts to our penultimate home game. Spurs Women Head Coach Rehanne Skinner previews the first of our three remaining matches as we host Champions League Finalists Chelsea at the Hive on Wednesday night (5.30pm).
1 - ‘Our priority is to get back on track’
We took a break from the league on Sunday. Has the additional time aided preparation going into the final stretch of games?
Rehanne: “We were disappointed with our performance following the Manchester United game after such a strong performance against Reading the week before. That has been the focus of our attention in relation to training and something that we as a team are keen to put right. Our priority is to get back on track with our performance and deliver our game plan. Training has been positive this week and the focus has been what we want to get from the next game. For me, that is the important thing moving forward into each of these last few games - take each one as it comes, stick to our tasks, and get the best possible outcome.”
2 - Chelsea
What learnings can we take from the last time we played Chelsea?
Rehanne: “It is important that we remember what the first 20-25 minutes of the last game against Chelsea looked like. We were the better side and could have scored two goals if we had been more clinical. We need to be ruthless and able to sustain the press for longer periods of time going into this game. Job number one is that we have to be incredibly hard to break down. If we can do that, that keeps us in the game and gives us a platform to work from.
“We acknowledge that when we conceded the first goal last time, the response wasn’t good enough and we conceded a second really quickly after that having been in a much stronger position before. Obviously, we want to manage that and show we have improved and progressed from that perspective to prove we can handle ourselves in situations like that when we go a goal down.
“We have got to be able to manage momentum better during a game and not be affected by conceding a goal and actually stick to the things that we are doing well as opposed to changing our attitude and approach. We went a goal down at Reading against the run of play but that didn’t affect our approach. We kept working hard and fighting to get goals out of that game. That’s something we want to be able to show that we can do more consistently.”
3 – Facing the title-chasers
How do we approach the challenge of derailing Chelsea’s momentum as they compete at the top end of the table?
Rehanne: “All credit to the things they have achieved so far this season. We are under no illusion that it is going to be a really tough test, make no mistake about it. We need to go into the game with the same mentality that we approach every game really. We want to show who we are as Tottenham Hotspur, show our identity and take the game to Chelsea.
"It is important that we deliver on what we have worked on and stick to our game plan. If we do those things well, we stand a much better chance of getting something from the game. It will be a tough test, but we aspire to challenge the top teams in the league and we’re looking forward to it.”
4 – Opportunities for returning players
What is the squad’s fitness like going into the game?
Rehanne: “There are some players who will unfortunately not be available for tomorrow’s game but are progressing really well with their rehab programmes. There should be some opportunities for players who have not had as many chances to play because of their own injuries to feature in the remaining games of the season to strengthen the squad.”
5 - No let-up
With two league games left to play we have secured our top-flight status for next season. Does being safe affect the mentality and approach?
Rehanne: "As a squad, we are keen to get continuity and consistency in our performances which is what I have mentioned on a number of occasions. Right now, it is about continuing to build that philosophy in and amongst the squad which will obviously feed into next season because that is our intent and what we are trying to achieve on the journey.”