Analysis

Erin Cuthbert: Tweaks in performances needed

Despite Chelsea Women creating a number of chances against Brighton yesterday, a draw was the end result and Erin Cuthbert insists the Blues will work hard on improving in training.

Chelsea had to settle with a point in our first away trip of the 2019/20 Women’s Super League after coming up against a determined Brighton and Hove Albion side. And although we dominated for large periods of the game, particularly in the first-half, the Blues failed to hit the target until stoppage time.

It was a frantic end to the second half when Brighton went ahead with minutes left to play. However, substitute Adelina Engman delivered the equaliser on 91 minutes to ensure we had a share of the points.

‘We were disappointing today, we created enough chances in the first half, I thought we had a good first half,’ said Cuthbert.

‘We need to accept that teams are getting better and that the gap is closing. It’s really good as players to come against this every week, it’s very competitive, but it’s hard when a team bank up, they worked so hard and tirelessly. We have to match that first and foremost but I don’t think we had enough quality today.

‘Adelina came off the bench and she scored a goal so I’m delighted for her because she’s been sick this week. It’s good for her to get a little bit of confidence again and she’s been working really hard. I’m happy for her and it just shows the spirit we have in this team even off the bench as well,’ she said.

Chelsea had won the four previous encounters against the South Coast side with our last game at The People’s Pension Stadium finishing 4-0. The goals from that contest came in the final stages of the match and Cuthbert compared the similarities between the two performances.

‘They are a tough bunch and last time we came here we scored after 60 minutes, so we knew it was going to be something like that again. We had to tire them out, we had to switch play, we had to open up and shift them first and foremost.

‘We don’t make excuses, we know we’ve got enough quality in this dressing room that we should be winning games like this and if you leave a team like that in the game they know that they are going to have a chance.

‘This happened last season where we left teams with a chance and in the end they ended up stealing a goal, so we know that we have to finish it off but ultimately we need to create a little bit more.’

The Blues have no Champions League football this term, meaning less games for Emma Hayes’ squad, which gives an opportunity to put all our efforts into the WSL campaign. Current league champions Arsenal and runners-up Manchester City have had a perfect start to the WSL thus far, but the 21-year-old insists there is no pressure on her side at this stage.

‘I think it’s one game, we’ve got a good squad here with enough quality, so to make sure it doesn’t happen next time we have to work at training.

‘We’re not in the Champions League and I think that was a big factor because we had so many games in quick succession. Not being in the Champions League does allow us to get back to the training ground and get back to doing what we know.

‘I think it is not always what you see on the field. We’ve recruited a lot of staff and the attention to detail this year is bigger than ever, so I think the only way is up for us.

‘We really do have all the support to be successful, it’s just up to us to get back and make some fine tweaks.'

Next on the horizon for the Blues is West Ham in the Continental Tyres League Cup and the forward identified the areas for improvement ahead of another expected tricky game.

‘We need to first of all look at where we could have done better here because there were areas that we could have done better.

‘We need to maybe work on more combinations around the box and maybe drawing teams out a bit more because they’re setting their blocks and we need to draw them out to create some spaces. We did that in the first half but maybe not so much in the second half.’

We’re back at Kingsmeadow on Sunday 22 September where we host West Ham United. Season tickets are available just £49 for the whole season. Junior fans (aged under 20) as well as senior fans (aged 65 or over) can enjoy the whole season for just £5!

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