Arsenal wrapped up 2018 with a 3-1 win at Millwall Lionesses in the Continental Cup, a result which sees them top their group with a perfect record. Tim Stillman spoke to Gunners boss Joe Montemurro after the match about the game, giving academy talent a chance, January transfer window plans and injury prognoses.
On lacking intensity in the first half….
We erred on the side of caution a little, we were a bit reserved. We wanted to keep the ball and be professional, the situation is that we were already through to the next round and it was a bit of a dead rubber. But it was a really good chance to give some of our young kids an opportunity to play.
— Millwall Lionesses 🦁 (@millwalllioness) December 12, 2018
On what changed at half time….
We made a couple of positional adjustments. We had a few players just playing a bit too high and trying to do too much in the final third, we just needed to hold our positions a little more. We needed to make sure we were better in the second phase because Millwall were dropping off. We didn’t need to drop off necessarily, but we needed cleaner lines between midfield and the forwards and in the end we created a number of chances and we were ok.
On giving some academy players the chance to play….
It’s really important for me to be able to see them in games in real situations, so these games are fundamental for us. The important thing is to create a link between the academy and the first team, that’s why we have the academy, to produce talent. The closer we can get the academy to the first team and get the players playing our style in first team games the better.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) December 12, 2018
On the prospect of further additions in January after the signing of Janni Arnth…
Watch this space! (Joe grins)
On Kim Little and Viki Schnaderbeck’s respective returns from injury….
Kim will be back in January. Since before the Manchester City game we already started to plan the next part of the season. We knew that mathematically we would be top of the league by Christmas, that was our aim at the beginning of the season.
So we started to give the likes of Emma Mitchell and Dominique Bloodworth a bit of a rest, so we started the preparation for the second half of the season. Viki (Schanderbeck) is doing really well and we hope to see her back at the start of February if things continue to go well and hopefully Tabea to follow on after.