Drew: Let’s keep the Wolf from the door

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By James Ran­dall

CHELSEA built their dou­ble-win­ning side on a miserly defence, and Drew Spence ad­mits they will have to be rock solid once again to see off two-time Cham­pi­ons League win­ners Wolfs­burg.

The Blues lifted the FA Cup and Women’s Su­per League tro­phies this sea­son, with an out­stand­ing de­fen­sive record lay­ing the foun­da­tions for such suc­cess.

In­deed, since re­turn­ing from the World Cup break, Emma Hayes’ side have kept a re­mark­able ten clean sheets as their back four – mar­shalled by vet­eran goal­keeper and win­ter ar­rival Hed­vig Lin­dahl – shut out plenty of po­tent sides.

Most re­cently they breezed through the Cham­pi­ons League round of 32 with a 4-0 ag­gre­gate win over Glas­gow City – two more clean sheets un­der the belt.

That earned Chelsea a two-legged clash with Wolfs­burg, who won the com­pe­ti­tion in 2013 and again in 2014, and mid­fielder Spence be­lieves a shutout on home soil on Wed­nes­day would be a huge step in the right di­rec­tion.

“I think that’s what was key against Glas­gow,” said the 23-year-old. “We kept a clean sheet and then went away and got most of the goals there.We need to keep a clean sheet in the first leg and we can take it from there.

Ex­cited

“We leaked a lot of goals last year and that was prob­a­bly why we lost the ti­tle. I think Emma has brought in the right peo­ple to make us win.

“Hed­vig is a great ad­di­tion to our side and she has brought that ex­pe­ri­ence, not only from club level but also in­ter­na­tional level. It has been a mas­sive wel­come for her and she has been a great ad­di­tion to our team.

“They are go­ing to be a tough side. They have won it pre­vi­ously and they are ob­vi­ously a Ger­man side, which is a mas­sive step for us.

“We need to keep do­ing what we are do­ing.We are re­ally ex­cited to play a big team in Europe be­cause you have got to beat the best to be the best. Hope­fully we will go out there and put in a good per­for­mance.”

For Spence, who joined the club from Ful­ham as a teenager in 2008, this sea­son could hardly have gone bet­ter.

She was part of the side that nar­rowly missed out on the WSL ti­tle last sea­son and re­turned to go one bet­ter this time, as well as start­ing at Wem­b­ley as Chelsea beat Notts County to win the FA Cup.

And whether or not the Blues taste Cham­pi­ons League glory too, Spence has plenty to look for­ward to on the in­ter­na­tional stage af­ter re­ceiv­ing her first England callup last month – one of eight Chelsea play­ers in the squad.

“It was a great oc­ca­sion for me but also for my fam­ily,” she added. “It is some­thing I have re­ally been work­ing to­wards. Now I have to keep go­ing at club level to make sure I stick in the squad.

“It’s a great achieve­ment for the club and I think it is more than de­served. With us win­ning the dou­ble, it needs to be recog­nised at in­ter­na­tional level and it was. It was great for ev­ery­one to be there and to wel­come me with my team-mates there.”

PIC­TURE: The FA

KEEP IT CLEAN: Drew Spence wants an­other clean sheet from her Chelsea defence, which is be­ing well mar­shalled by keeper Hed­vig Lin­dahl, in­set

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.