Tomorrow Chelsea FC Women’s FA Cup journey resumes from last season with a quarter-final tie against Everton and defender Hannah Blundell discusses competition within the squad, silverware prospects and the relationship between the Blues and our supporters…
It will be two weeks tomorrow since Chelsea were last in action due to the international break, and although a large portion of the squad have been away competing for their countries, Blundell has insisted the Blues are well prepared for the big game on Sunday.
‘Training has been really good,’ she said. ‘With the quality of players that we’ve got, the intensity is always really high.
‘Even though there has been an international break, there has been more numbers in training than usual because some players didn’t have duty. The girls that went away came back mid-week so we’ve had a solid amount of time to work on things for Sunday.
‘Our coaching staff are great, I always feel like we are really well prepared before any match. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t played Everton for a while because the staff do all their analysis to prepare us and then it’s up to us players to carry out the game plan with whatever that may be.'
The Blues had a perfect start to the 2020/21 campaign when they lifted the Community Shield, when a 30-yard screamer by Millie Bright and a smart finish from Erin Cuthbert saw off Manchester City in the entertaining curtain-raiser.
Should the Blues overcome the Toffees at Goodison Park, we will move that one step closer to potentially adding more silverware to the trophy cabinet.
‘Our goal is to win trophies and as Emma [Hayes] said at the beginning of the season, there are six trophies up for grabs, we’ve already got one so we’ve started really well,’ Blundell said.
‘We need to make sure we take one game at a time and not think too far ahead. This week is FA Cup so that’s our main focus.
‘We’ve got so many winners in our team and I’m confident that whoever we play and whoever plays in the team, that we will come away with results.
‘Cup games are completely different to league matches because it’s a one-off game and anything can happen, but like I said we have got winners in our team and we’re just focusing on ourselves.
‘As a footballer you want to be involved in a successful team, you want to be at the top of the table winning, fighting for championships and I’m really excited for the season ahead.’
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes added four fresh faces to the squad ahead of the campaign and with competition for a places in the starting XI being very high, Blundell, who made her first appearance of the season in our 9-0 victory over Bristol City welcomes the competition.
The 26-year-old sees the fight for a spot in the starting line-up as a positive challenge and insists that winning silverware is a squad effort.
‘We have got a big squad and there is competition everywhere which is good because it pushes everyone to make sure their standards are high otherwise you’re not going to be in the team,’ Blundell stated.
‘We are such a close group and really supportive of each other when it comes to team selection. Everyone is pushing each other for the team and we want to win as many trophies as we can.
‘For myself, I know if I’m training well, I’m pushing Maren [Mjelde] and Jonna [Andersson] as well – We all have one thing in common and that is to win as many trophies as we can.’
Although fans are unable to support us in stadiums for the time being due to Covid-19, the defender has expressed her gratitude on behalf of the whole team towards our faithful following.
‘We have been very fortunate that our fanbase has grown every single season and they have literally followed us up and down the country the past few years,’ Blundell said.
‘It’s not ideal that they can’t be at games with us but most of the games are being streamed live which is good because they can still watch us safely from home.
‘We want them there as much as they want to be there. Sport is just not the same without fans there, they bring the atmosphere and push us in our performances as well.’
Watch the Blues’ FA Cup quarter-final, which kicks off at 1pm, live on this website and The 5th Stand App. Click here to download the app!