Analysis

CARNEY: OUR SUPER SUBS

A 5-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on a freezing night in Cheshunt ensured we ended the Continental Tyres League Cup group stage with a 100 per cent record and in first place, which guarantees us a home tie against one of the runners-up in the quarter-finals. With matches still to be played elsewhere, our opponents will be Birmingham City, West Ham United or one of Manchester United, Reading and Liverpool.

It's not just in this competition we have shown good form, as the year concludes with the Blues on a run of eight straight victories, while we haven't conceded a goal in our past 10 matches. If Carney, who was on target in the win over Spurs, had her way, the mid-season break would be scrapped to allow us to continue on this path.

'We've done really well, it was a great way to end the year,' she said. 'Personally, I think it's a bit of a bad time for the break – we've got on a bit of a roll, there's momentum, our confidence is good. A lot of people have played, the squad has been rotated, and training has been very good. We're very happy.

'We've just been training very hard and I think the work we put in every day is reflected on the pitch. I'm glad we've got a bit of a break, but at the same time slightly disappointed because we've got a bit of momentum. We'll come back stronger, refreshed and more focused, and we look forward to the start of the new year.'
 

- When the season resumes, it will be for a home match in the WSL, and all the tickets are free!

The skipper highlighted the strength in depth which allowed Emma Hayes to make eight changes to the side which beat Brighton at the weekend and still see no drop in performance level, as they took the game to Spurs from almost the first whistle despite this being a dead rubber as far as we were concerned.
 

'The subs that came on against Brighton were fantastic – they took us to another level and won us the game – and I don't think the subs are always given enough credit,' added Carney. 'It's difficult when the team is doing well and you've got to wait for your chance, training every single day, but credit to the bench players who came on against Brighton, as they were fantastic and they got a start against Tottenham, which is good and well deserved and another good performance. We're happy we've got a really good squad and group.'

There was special praise for two of our goalscorers, though, as well as the defensive players who helped maintain our recent miserly run.

'It's a great finish from Ali,' said Carney of the strike which opened Ali Riley's account as a Blue. 'It was a special goal, and I love the fact we have so many different goalscorers.
 

'Beth [England] is playing with confidence in her preferred position,' she added about a player who ends the year with three consecutive braces. 'She's a fantastic player.

'We've got a fantastic squad, with injured players still to come back. Everyone's chipping in, working really hard in training, and I think it's shown on the pitch.

'We've got to give credit to the goalkeepers and defence, too, as I don't think they get plaudits sometimes, but this is our 10th clean sheet in a row and their work-rate is unbelievable.'

- Click to read about a special day in Kingston earlier this week
 

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