Analysis

Maren Mjelde: We will recover and go again

Maren Mjelde insists Chelsea FC Women will work hard on improving in training as we turn our attention to our Women’s Super League fixture at Birmingham City this weekend.

Our 2019/20 FA Cup campaign was brought to an end by Everton who triumphed 2-1 to advance to the last four of the competition.

The Blues took the lead early on through an Erin Cuthbert strike, and despite us having plenty of promising opportunities to extend our lead, Everton’s Lucy Graham levelled the scoring before the break.

The second half was the same as the first. Emma Hayes’ side had numerous chances to finish the game off, but the hosts went ahead in the 63rd minute with Valerie Gauvin heading beyond Ann-Katrin Berger.

Following a tough afternoon at Goodison Park, Mjelde addressed our performance and the defender is confident that the team will improve going forward.

‘We knew we were going to face a tough team on Sunday, they defended really well the whole game and we made it difficult for ourselves as well,’ Mjelde pointed out. ‘I think we started off really well and could have finished the game off early.

‘We created a lot and should have scored more goals but Everton got into the game and they have quality players that can punish us and they did.

‘Then from there it was a tight game, they ended up scoring and we ended up chasing which is hard because they defended well and all credit to them.

‘It’s always disappointing to concede goals, of course we don’t want to do that but that happens sometimes so we have got to learn from it.

‘We are going to learn from it, it’s the small details we have to improve on and it’s good that it’s still early in the season, we have a lot to play for still.’

Mjelde, who has been at the club since January 2017, commented on the increase in quality within the WSL, while insisting the Blues will continue to get better as the season unfolds.

‘We didn’t play Everton last year at all but we knew they had been recruiting well and I would say they are a good team and deserved to be in the semi-final as the game developed because we didn’t take our chances or defend good enough.

‘I think many teams have been recruiting well, all the clubs have strengthened their squad, but so have we and we are the team to beat for everyone and we have to live with that and get better for the next game.

‘I would have liked to be playing in the semi-final on Wednesday but it’s not to be so we will recover and get going again. Like I said, it’s still early in the season and we have a lot to play for,’ said Mjelde.

Next up for Chelsea is a trip to the Midlands to face Birmingham City – a fixture the Blues had much joy from last term – and Mjelde hopes to bounce back and return to winning ways.

‘We have to recover well, we want to win this weekend and we will come back and hopefully do that.

‘We still have a lot of games to play, but now we focus on the league which is important to us, so our main focus now will be on Birmingham.’

Sunday’s league match kicks off at 2.30pm and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
 

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