Chelsea Women central defender and vice-captain Millie Bright says that Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final away to Manchester City at 3.30pm is a huge game, but insists the Blues are up for it.
We have met Sunday’s opponents three times at this stage of the competition and have been triumphant on all of those occasions. Millie Bright is relishing the prospect of playing in the final at Wembley for a fourth time as a Blue, but knows there is one last hurdle to jump.
‘It’s massive that we go and win the game and get another year at Wembley – we are not here to just compete, we are here to win.
‘We are a club that is based on a winning mentality and a club that has an expectation of winning and bringing silverware back. That’s the nature of the club and I think it’s important that every player understands that, and they do,’ she replied when asked how important it is to reach the final and to keep hold of the Women’s FA Cup.
A large portion of our squad have been away on international duty and Bright has given an insight on how preparations have been going since all of the team have returned to Cobham.
‘It’s always tricky coming back after an international break and having a game so soon, it’s a quick turnaround – obviously you have got to adjust to the environment and get back to the club environment, and we have done that already.
‘We’re focused, we’ve had two days of training already so everyone is fresh and ready for the match on Sunday.
‘We all know what to expect going into this game, so I think it’s been important this week to focus on ourselves and know what we are going to bring to the game and how we are going to go out there and win.’
The FA Cup is the last opportunity for us to gain a domestic trophy due to the WSL title being out of reach, but Bright remains confident and calm about our mission in sealing a finalist spot for what will be the fifth time in Chelsea Women history.
‘I think there is pressure with any game you play in football, some could say there is more pressure because obviously we are not in the running for the league so we have to go out and win, but that is our mentality anyway.
‘For us as players and staff obviously we want to go and win in any game, but especially this game. Our mentality is always to perform and win regardless of what game it is and what competition it is.
‘I think it is important that we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, it’s important to know what’s at stake but to make sure that we are composed and calm going into the game.
‘Each game has been tough, each game has been a close one and they have all been end to end,’ she replied when asked about the past three semi-final FA Cup fixtures against Man City.
‘It’s a massive match and for me a Chelsea v City game is always like a final so it is going to interesting - It’s going to be high-tempo, there’s going to be lots of opportunities both ends and it is going to be a really exciting game.
‘We have deserved the win on all three and it’s good to have that in the bank, but it’s a cup game and so we have to make sure that we are switched on and ready for it.’
Kick-off at the Academy Stadium is at a later time of 3.30pm and fans who are not making the trip up to Manchester can watch the game live on BBC Two.