Erin Cuthbert plaudits the professionalism of the Chelsea Women’s squad after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Lewes in the Continental Tyres Cup.
With the rain sweeping down and strong winds forcing part of the ground to be closed following a morning pitch inspection, the Blues had to dig deep to maintain our 100 per cent start to Group D with captain Magdalena Eriksson striking late to seal the win.
Despite the testing conditions, a straightforward afternoon looked to be on the cards against our hosts from the Championship when Cuthbert coolly slotted home her first of the season only for a spectacular strike from Katie Rood to draw the home side level at the break.
It was one-way traffic in the second half but Emma Hayes’ side had to wait until 10 minutes from time to see off their tenacious opponents with captain Eriksson smashing home from inside the penalty area.
Cuthbert was quick to praise the team’s patience and professionalism after a tough afternoon in East Sussex. She said: ‘We weren’t able to move the ball as quickly as we normally do but the process stayed the same and we always knew that we were going to find a way to win and we did.
'The pitch was waterlogged, the wind and rain played a big factor in the game because we do like to switch play a lot. But the conditions were the same for both teams and we had a professional performance despite the weather.
‘Credit to Lewes, I’m not surprised by the result by any means, Emma had warned us this week this is what happens when WSL teams go and play against them because Reading only beat them 3-2, so we knew it was going to be a really tough game.
‘They are a very organised club, we knew what we were getting into and of course the weather conditions only hampered us in terms of how we usually perform but we don’t make excuses and we just found a way to win.’
Like most of the squad, Cuthbert now departs on international duty before returning to England when we host Manchester United at Kingsmeadow in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. The match will take place during Women's Football Weekend, an event launched by The FA to capitalise on the men's international break and encourage supporters to attend a women’s match at any level in the pyramid on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 November.
The Blues are currently top the WSL after an unbeaten start to the season and the Scottish international cannot wait to return to league action for our first-ever meeting with United.
‘We’re really excited for United. Last season the international breaks came at the wrong time for us, we used to hit form before the international break but it seems to me that it doesn’t matter when they are now because we have got ourselves in a momentum of winning games and I think that’s really important to keep up.
‘We just need to make sure that everyone stays fit and comes back healthy after the international break.
‘Manchester United will be a tough side, we know it’s going to be a massive test for us so we need to be at the top of our game,' she added.
The Scot will also be on a high after netting her first goal of the season, and while she was delighted to find the net on Saturday, Cuthbert knows her role in the team is not defined by goals.
‘I’m so happy, I feel like it’s been a little bit of a burden on me, maybe I have been trying too hard,’ said the 21-year-old.
‘I’m not a big goalscorer and I don’t judge myself on how much I score but of course it’s nice to score because I scored a little bit last season and I want to at least match my goals last season, so it’s nice to get off the mark.’
The Manchester United clash on Sunday 17 November kicks off at 2pm and tickets are just £1 for Juniors (Under-20) and Seniors (over 65) and adults £9. On the following Wednesday evening we play Tottenham Hotspur in the Continental Cup at home, which kicks off at 7pm.