Analysis

Women's reaction: Different type of pressure

Erin Cuthbert has praised the Chelsea Women supporters who cheered the Blues on to victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Emma Hayes’s side had to be patient against the South Coast club, with all four goals in our 4-0 victory coming in the final 25 minutes of the contest once Magda Eriksson had put us in front.

Bethany England’s brace either side of a strike from Ji So-Yun ensured a comfortable victory, and Cuthbert felt the noise from the fans, along with the players’ fitness levels, were crucial to helping us take three points which moved us up to third in the standings.

‘The fans have been great and they've come and supported us in their numbers, some of them in fancy dress as well,’ she said. ‘The support is growing every single game and it's amazing we're getting so much support, it really helps on the pitch.

‘The pitch itself was terrible, I don't think this is the standard we should be playing at and it should be cut at least. But we don't make excuses, we find ways – and in the second half we found a way to win, like we always do.

‘We had to be patient. We knew Brighton would match us, they did in the previous two games we've played them this season and it's difficult to play a team three times in five months. But our fitness outshone them in the second half and I think we wanted it more than they did.’
 

Cuthbert and her team-mates will depart for a brief Christmas break after our final Continental Tyres League Cup group match, which takes place at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, and then they will be back at it again for the second half of the season.

It’s not just a huge few months for the Blues, with plenty to play for in the various competitions, but there is also a World Cup on the horizon, with Cuthbert’s Scotland drawn to face England in the group stage.

‘Very exciting,’ said Cuthbert of the draw. ‘But I don't think we can get caught up too much on the England game. It's a great opener, great for the fans to get out and support us, but we've still got to beat Japan and Argentina. It's not over in one game, so whatever the scoreline we've got another two after that.

‘As for Chelsea, we've left ourselves a lot to do [in the title race], but it's time for us to enjoy being in the chasing position. We were the leaders last year and it's a different type of pressure. We felt it last year and I'm sure Arsenal and Man City will be feeling a lot of that. It's whether they can handle it. We've just got to do our job.’


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