Having recovered from the Conti Cup final disappointment with two important league wins and a return to the top of the WSL table, Chelsea Women are back in cup action today.
A place in the semi-final of the FA Cup is at stake when we take on Reading away, having already knocked two WSL sides in Liverpool and Arsenal out of the competition. The game kicks off at 2pm and can be watched on the FA Player
The Blues are the trophy holders, and midfielder Jessie Fleming reports there is plenty of excitement in the camp as the players aim to extend the current cup run.
‘The mood is good, we were disappointed after the Arsenal game [the Conti Cup final] but there is still so much to play for and big trophies that are hard to win,’ says the Canadian international.
‘We have got used to having to refocus quickly after whether it be wins or losses, just because there is so much to play for throughout the season, so the positive response [to losing the League Cup final] has given us a bit of momentum going into this next period of games and the team is excited. These are really important games in the next couple of weeks.’
Following quickly on from this weekend’s cup tie is the beginning of another quarter-final with the Blues travelling to Lyon for the Champions League first leg.
‘They are easy games to get up for and ones that really excite all our players,’ says Fleming who believes this is a time when Chelsea’s depth of squad can come in to play.
‘These are the weeks when that is really important, and we can lean on that as a team, and within our training environment always having competitive training sessions, and just preparing as best we can for every game regardless of who the opponent is.
‘Every team we play presents a challenge and you can see how competitive the WSL is. We know it is going to be a good game against Reading. For us it is a matter of being at our best and preparing our best for what they might bring, and we are all excited going into this game.’
Fleming earned praise from Emma Hayes for her contribution in the last game, a win over Manchester United that ensured we leapfrogged them at the top of the table.
‘There is always ebb and flow within a season and maybe I have not been as happy as I would like to be with my performances so far this season,’ she admits, ‘so it was definitely exciting to get a more positive performance in, and hopefully I can build off of that and just create some momentum individually, being willing to keep working hard and improving and doing what I can to help the team win these next games, regardless of what my role may look like.’
You can see the Blues live at the Bridge this month when we take on Lyon Féminines in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final. Tickets can be purchased here