WOMEN'S WEEKLY

Posted on: Thu 05 Sep 2013

Chelsea Ladies take on Bristol Academy tonight (Thursday) in our penultimate game of the season, aiming to finish the campaign on a positive note following a disappointing run of results.

Emma Hayes's side will be looking to bounce back after suffering late heartache on Sunday when we were beaten 3-2 by Everton having restored parity after falling 2-0 behind.

The match, which came only three days after a narrow 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, saw the Blues display great character to claw ourselves back into the game, but as assistant manager Paul Green explains, we were made to pay for silly mistakes.

'We started the game slowly and fell behind, but we felt we should have had a penalty early on and the referee didn't give it,' he tells the official Chelsea website. 'In the second half we made a silly mistake and gave away a second goal, but we showed great character to come back.

'Drew Spence scored from a corner and from that period we were in total control. We then got the equaliser after Karin Muya came on as a substitute and scored.

'From that point it looked like there would only be one winner; we were dominating and they were struggling to get out of their half, so we thought we'd go on and win the game.

'But we then gave the ball away on the halfway line, allowing them to break, and they scored the winning goal with only six minutes left to play.

'Our problem at the moment is that we haven't been able to keep the ball out of our own net. Scoring goals hasn't been a problem; we got three at Liverpool and two at Everton, so we should be winning those games, never mind losing them.'

Tonight's match against Bristol, who are currently third in the FA Women's Super League, will undoubtedly provide another stern test.

Green, though, believes there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, not only in terms of finishing the season well, but also looking further ahead.

'There were some major positives in the way we played in the second half against Everton,' he says. 'Young Jodie Brett started after playing against Arsenal, Drew Spence came back in and Hannah Blundell was back after playing for England Under-19s.

'Emma's philosophy, and the way she wants us to play, is developing nicely, which you can see during the games, but we can't keep pressing the self-destruct button. It's not as if we're getting dominated by teams, we've lost a lot of games by the odd goal.

'Some of the young kids have come into the side and done well, so hopefully these last two games will allow us to give them some more minutes, so that going into next season they will be better prepared. It's important we finish with a couple of positive results.

'We're not far away; Liverpool and Arsenal are the two best teams in the league and we should have won at Liverpool, while the Arsenal game was very close.'

Tonight's game takes place at Staines Town FC, kick-off 7.30pm, with Chelsea season ticket holders and members gaining entry for £1.

Chelsea mascot Bridget the Lioness will be entertaining supporters at the stadium, while there will also be a crossbar challenge at half-time.