Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has been speaking about her side’s performance in the 1-1 draw with title challengers Manchester City at Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
Reading took the lead after just three minutes through Norwegian striker Amalie Eikeland and held onto that lead for almost an hour as Manchester City threw everything at them. The visiting side pulled an equaliser back from Sam Mewis and continued to press Reading, but the Royals remained resilient and dug deep to secure a hard-fought point against world class opposition.
“We put our game plan into action,” Chambers said. “Fair play to the girls, obviously we scored very early on, but our defending was second-to-none, it was outstanding.
“I believe City played their strongest eleven against us. We go one-nil up from a set-piece that we’d worked hard on last week. Obviously, we know the quality in the City side, individually and collectively and we knew we were going to be on the back foot at times throughout the game, but for us, that’s football and the result is the most important thing.”
Reading have looked impressive since the opening weekend of the season, racking up wins against Aston Villa and West Ham in the league and a dominant 4-0 victory against Charlton in the Continental Cup.
“I think that our performances have been fantastic since our disappointing result against Arsenal,” Chambers continued. “Bouncing back from that was the most important thing for us, and since then our performances have been outstanding, even against Birmingham, we just weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal.”
Unfortunately, as was the case following the dominant victory against Aston Villa in September, an international break approaches and threatens to halt any momentum the Royals were looking to exploit going forward. “For us, unfortunately the international break has come at the wrong time again; some of the girls will go and it’ll be good for them to get a change of scenery, but the ones that are left, there’s a lot of them to work with them; work on what we want to do and what we want to be about.”
In summary of her team’s performance, Chambers said, “As much as everyone wants to win the game, a point on the board against Manchester City, especially after last weekend, is a positive result for us. Ultimately, we showed our true colours, especially defensively and even going forward, we had a few chances where we could have scored a couple more. But at the end of the day, it’s a fantastic result for us and another way to bounce back. We need to continue to work hard as we have a tough four games in November and we have to be ready for that.”
Reading FC Women are next in action following the international break on November 4th when they travel to West Ham for a midweek Continental Cup clash.