Powell: Only we can put an end to the bad run

Head coach reflects on disappointing run in her programme notes.

By Hope Powell • 23 January 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Hope Powell wont be on the touchline this weekend, after she tested positive for Covid.

Good afternoon everyone and a warm welcome to Emma Hayes, her Chelsea players and staff and to our supporters.

I’d like to start by thanking our fans who kept supporting and encouraging the team against Man City a fortnight ago, even when things started to go wrong for us in the second half. It is appreciated by everyone and needless to say we need to you be vocal again today for what is sure to be another difficult game.

There’s no getting away from the fact that we’re on a bad run, but we are the only ones who can put an end to it and what better way to do so than against the reigning champions.


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WSL Extended Highlights: Chelsea 1 Albion 2

I was asked this week whether our current results feels a bit like the situation a year ago when we had a big re-set after losing to Bristol City and beat Chelsea in our next match. I’d certainly love a repeat of the result we had against them today, but I do think things are a lot different than 12 months ago.

We have already won five games this season and until fairly recently our performance levels were pretty high, whereas last season we’d really struggled in the first half of the season for the consistency you need if you are going to compete in a league that is getting better and better each season.

When you’re not getting good results I feel it is inherent on everyone involved – players, staff and coaches including myself – to look within and work out what you can do better. In such a competitive environment as the WSL finding that extra 5-10% in whatever you do is all it can take to turn things around.

Looking back on the last two games, the way things unravelled for us in the second half against a strong Manchester City side was a bit of a shock, bearing in mind how well we’d played before half-time. There were a lot of positives for us despite the result and for me last week’s narrow loss at Leicester City was more disappointing. We didn’t really impose ourselves until the last 20 minutes when we should have equalised. We certainly didn’t take Leicester lightly. We’d seen their resilience when we beat them narrowly at the Amex and their performance, and Birmingham’s win over Arsenal a fortnight ago, illustrate just how little there is between all the teams in the WSL. You can’t afford to stand still or you risk being left behind.

By Manjit Narotra
Hope Powell said the players had a 'heart to heart' after the defeat to Leicester last weekend.

The girls had a good heart-to-heart after Leicester and I have sensed in training this week their determination to get back on track and show the best of themselves as individuals and as a group. The same goes for me and my staff. But they also know that we have to improve individually and as a collective and that anything less than their absolute best won’t be enough against such a talented opponent as Chelsea.

Good luck to us!