All or nothing
Claire Rafferty Thu 22 Sep 2016
This Sunday it is make or break for our FA Women’s Super League title bid. Beat Manchester City and we live to fight another day; fail to win and it’s all over. The stakes could not be higher.
If we win then we know we’re pushing Man City right to their final game. Can they deal with the pressure? There will be a month until their last match at home to Birmingham City, who are fifth but pushing hard for third place, and that is a long time. Let’s make sure we give them something to think about.
I think Chelsea against Manchester City is the big rivalry in the FA Women’s Super League – the two Blues going head to head.
Looking at the broader picture, you can’t get away from the fact they’ve been the most consistent team in the league. But if they are to win it, I really, really, really don’t want it to be in front of our faces. It would be a bitter pill to swallow, but in the past we have used setbacks in a positive way and I’m sure we would do it again. We still feel we have a point to prove after our performance in the FA Cup final and this is another opportunity to show what we can do.
We know we’re going to be well supported up there as the club has put on subsidised coach travel for the supporters, which I was so pleased to hear about. I think my parents might jump on one of them – and maybe I will too if I’m not included in the squad!
You may have heard that I left the England camp early after I suffered a concussion. It was a freak accident about five minutes before the final training session on Sunday evening and a ball just smashed me in the back of the head. It just so happens it was kicked by Lucy Bronze, who plays for Manchester City, but there was no intent so no hard feelings!
I had blurred vision and was vomiting so they had to take me to hospital to get a CT scan and stuff. They take concussions very seriously these days. It’s touch and go as to whether or not I’ll be able to play on Sunday, and I’m still being assessed day to day. If I have to sit it out I’ll be absolutely gutted.
Concussion has been covered a lot in the media of late, particularly when it comes to the NFL and the huge sum of money they have spent settling lawsuits and researching the subject. If I am to miss the game, the way to look at it is that as much as I would give anything to be out on the pitch and trying to help keep our title bid alive in the most anticipated match of the season, it is only one game. Clubs need to set the right precedent.
I think this latest setback sums up my season. As much as I don’t want to come across all Mario Balotelli, I have found myself repeatedly asking people: “Why always me?” I’ve been out of luck this season when it comes to injuries, but I suppose the positive thing is that none of them have been long-term problems. Having had surgery on both knees during my career, these are very minor ailments in comparison.
I’ve also tried to take the positives out of the situation. I’ve learnt a lot about my body and how to deal with different training loads and I hope that stands me in good stead for next season, which is a big one with the Euros at the end of it as well.