Chelsea FC Women face West Ham United in the Continental League Cup semi-final this evening and captain Magda Eriksson admits there is a real hunger in the Blues squad to retain the trophy.
Eriksson led Chelsea to Continental League Cup glory for the first time in our history last season, with the Blues securing a 2-1 victory over Arsenal thanks to a last-gasp winner from Bethany England.
Emma Hayes’ side are one game away from reaching this season’s final and Eriksson has set her sights on back-to-back titles.
She said: ‘We are really excited, and these are the games we really enjoy playing in.
‘We had a tough battle in the quarter-final against Manchester City and I think all eyes are on getting to the final now and defending our trophy.
‘I think it is a statement to ourselves and everyone else, that we are a team that wants to be there, win trophies and win everything we are competing for.
‘I think it sends a message to everyone else but also to ourselves that we want to be the best team in England.
‘We know that is going to be tough, but this is our goal.’
Standing in the way of Eriksson and her Blues team-mates reaching the final are London rivals West Ham, and Eriksson says we will not be underestimating tonight’s opponents.
She added: ‘West Ham are better than their league position at the moment. We struggled against them in December, it was a tough game which ended 3-2.
‘They are always tough to play, they are very physical and have some really good players.
‘Especially with it being a cup game, they are going to give it everything they’ve got so I have huge respect for them, and we need to be ready.’
While speaking to the media ahead of our semi-final tie, Eriksson touched on how Blues boss Hayes has instilled a winning mentality and a hunger for more titles within the Chelsea squad.
‘Emma is always striving to reach new levels,’ Eriksson said. ‘She’s never satisfied with just winning or just playing well. She always wants us to reach new levels in our game and to push ourselves every day.
‘She expects us to perform in everything we do, she wants to create that winning mentality and I think she has done a really good job of creating that within the team.
‘In whatever we do, we want to win and we want to be the best.’
You can watch tonight’s semi-final clash against West Ham, which kicks-off at 5pm, live on the FA Player.