Kirby: Euro excitement continues
news Wed 8 Nov 2017
Fran Kirby expects Rosengard to pose a different test to Bayern Munich when the Blues take on the Swedish side tonight at Kingsmeadow.
The England striker’s second-leg strike in Germany helped secure our place in the last 16 of the Women’s Champions League, but it does not get any easier for Emma Hayes’ side. Although they have never won the competition, Rosengard have regularly competed in the latter stages in recent years and Kirby knows another big effort is needed from the Blues.
‘We’re really excited,’ said the 24-year-old. ‘It’s going to be a different test to Bayern, because we knew they were going to have the ball the whole game so we had to take our chances when they came. It’ll be interesting to see how we set-up against Rosengard and how we can exploit them.
‘They have played really well the past few years, always up in the top two of the league, so we’re expecting a really good game.
‘They’ve got a lot of experienced players, the likes of Anja Mittag, Anita Asante, but we’re quietly confident. We want to try and match them – they’ve been one of the top sides in Europe in recent years – and we want to put our stamp on the game and hopefully get a positive result like we did against Bayern.
‘We’ve always been an exciting team going forward, but we’ve tightened up at the back and we’re keeping so many clean sheets. And our defenders are scoring as well, we’ve got goalscorers all over the pitch, so we know that in every game we’re probably going to score a goal.’
After missing the best part of a year through injury prior to the Spring Series, Kirby’s excitement at competing in Europe’s top club competition is tangible.
‘It’s really special to be a part of the Champions League,’ she added. ‘We were absolutely buzzing after beating Bayern at home and nobody wanted to let that slip; we obviously had the scare away, when they scored twice, but it’s a massive achievement for the club and what we’ve been working for.’