Lindahl: Different challenges, same focus
news Fri 27 Oct 2017
Hedvig Lindahl looks ahead to Chelsea Ladies' meeting with Yeovil, which pits top versus bottom in the WSL1 at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.
The Blues have made a flawless start to the league campaign, winning all three matches and boasting a goal difference of +13 having yet to concede a goal.
Emma Hayes' side will be looking to add to that winning streak on Sunday when they face a side who have lost all three matches without finding the back of the net, and whom they defeated 6-0 in the last meeting between the clubs at the start of the Spring Series.
On paper, it looks like a straightforward task for a side who have just eliminated Bayern Munich from the Champions League, but Lindahl and her team-mates will be taking nothing for granted against Yeovil.
'There is always work to be done and if you think something will just work itself out then you will get punished,' said the 34-year-old, who this week became the most capped goalkeeper in the history of the Swedish national team.
'I believe we are a team who can outplay most of our opponents in the league, but if we are not willing to do the job and work hard then we can be beaten by any opponent in this league. You can never take anything for granted – you do the work and then hopefully you can celebrate afterwards.
'I'm certain we have learned that you can't just fly away now, thinking you're a Champions League team and that those are the more exciting games that we want to play; you have to compete on different levels.
'The national level, logically, is lower than the Champions League level, but you have to remain focused on all these different levels in every competition. It's about being there in every second of every training session, in every game and in all the preparation you need to do. That's when you're ready to become a champion.'
In her last outing for the Blues, Lindahl faced a barrage of shots from Bayern Munich in a thrilling second leg of our Champions League last-32 tie, whereas she has had very few saves in her WSL1 appearances this term.
As the last line of defence, however, the goalkeeper knows she faces a challenge in every minute of every game.
'It's challenging in another way,' she said. 'Your energy level needs to be high when you're busy and called into action a lot, like in the games against Bayern, but in matches where you are the team who has all the possession and the opposition is always looking to counter you, your knowledge and focus is challenged.
'Your mindset is challenged rather than your physique, if you like. So, as a goalkeeper, you have to always think of the different challenges that are there for you in games and embrace them.'