Simpkins: We learned a harsh lesson

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Emily Simpkins says Albion were punished for switching off as they lost to Barclays Women's Super League leaders, Arsenal.

By Bruce Talbot • 12 January 2020

By Kyle Hemsley
Emily Simpkins pushes forward against Arsenal

The midfielder admits Albion learned a harsh lesson after the Gunners repeated their 4-0 league win from earlier in the season with two goals in each half, although Simpkins felt her side played a lot better in their latest encounter.

She said, “The biggest lesson from today is that you cannot switch off, especially as a midfielder. You have to concentrate against the top sides all the way through.

“It’s disappointing to lose. We’re proud that we tried to implement everything in our game plan, as we showed desire and togetherness, but if we break the game down, the four goals could have been prevented.

"That being said, we have to recognise that we were playing against a really strong side, who are top of the table.”

By Kyle Hemsley
Emily Simpkins chases down Kim Little.

Albion did beat the Gunners on penalties after a goalless draw in the Continental League Cup in November and, despite today’s setback, Simpkins feels they are moving in the right direction.

“I’ve been here two years and we do manage games better than we did when I arrived,” said the 29-year-old.

“As someone who has been involved in both league games against them, there was definitely an improvement this time. In the first game we felt we got battered, but it wasn’t like that today. It’s just those fine margins – if you switch off against the top sides, then they will punish you.”

By Kyle Hemsley
Emily Simpkins launches a pass up the pitch.

Albion are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Manchester United in the quarter-final of the Continental Cup.

Simpkins added, “We’ll recover, but the good thing is we’ve got another game coming up. It’s all about the knockout stages now and we’re looking forward to it.”