Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has been typically honest when talking about her side’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Everton on Sunday, but she maintains that 4th place in the WSL and a cup final are still very much the focus of the team.
In contrast to a strong performance away to Arsenal in the Continental Cup midweek that saw an 86th minute winner from Kim Little the only thing separating the two sides, Reading were defeated by Everton after Chloe Kelly opened the scoring on the 11th minute before completing her hat-trick in the second half to seal all 3 points for the home side.
“It’s disappointing,” Chambers said, “I don’t think we turned up, if you compare that performance to Wednesday’s against Arsenal, it’s very disappointing. Maybe Wednesday took a little too much out of us, to go to the 86th minute battling against Arsenal, thinking we were going to get something out of that game. We need some time to reflect, but we shouldn’t be losing by that many to Everton.”
On the side’s performance, Chambers was characteristically frank when it came to where she felt they were lacking on the field. “We’re about energy, we’re about pressing, we’re about getting in team’s faces; that physical side; defending hard, and we didn’t have that at all, anywhere across the pitch. The disappointing thing for me was that we didn’t have that hunger or that desire to make sure that we got something against Everton. I can take people being tired and they might have an off day, but we needed that bit of grit between our teeth, to get through it. It was a shame we didn’t have the energy and drive we have in every other game.”
Reading were 4th in the Women’s Super League before the weekend’s action, but the loss to Everton and a win for Manchester United has seen them slip to 6th, a point behind both Everton and United. However, Chambers has designs on a top 4 finish. “We still have an aim to finish 4th and we’re in the mix with a lot of clubs. It’s very tight in-and-around that area now and the games this season are very open, people are taking points off each other everywhere in the league”.
Reading FC Women are next in action on Sunday as their FA Women’s Cup campaign begins against London City Lionesses at Princes Park in the Fourth Round.
“We’ve always wanted to get to a cup final,” Chambers said, her focus shifting towards the prestigious competition. “It’s the dream of this club to get to a cup final and it’s a dream of the players to get to a cup final, so the FA Cup is definitely going to be a massive competition for us”.
Tickets for Sunday’s FA Cup Fourth Round clash with London City Lionesses at Princes Park, Dartford, 2pm, are available here.