Newly-appointed Tottenham Hotspur assistant coach, Lauren Smith, has labelled recent results as ‘frustrating’ but is encouraged by the squad’s determination as she looks to ahead to Sunday’s mid-table clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The former Welsh international coach joined Spurs head coach Rehanne Skinner in January and is keen to build a ‘high-performance culture’ as the new coaching pair set their long-term goals on firming Spurs’ place in the top four of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
Reflecting on Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Everton, in an exclusive Next Gen Sports press conference, Smith said “The result was unfortunate and obviously it’s disappointing not to get the points, but I’m proud of the squad for the overall performance we delivered on Sunday.”
It was an exciting first half, with Everton converting two penalties in the first 18 minutes. The Merseysiders came out on top at half-time despite Spurs clawing a goal back in the 35th minute through Angela Addison.
After an equaliser was fired home by Gemma Davison, Jill Scott’s header snatched all three points for Everton, marking three consecutive losses for Spurs.
Although disappointed with the result, Smith was impressed with her squad’s performance. She said “The positives we took from the game were great.
“We showed a lot more of our attacking game, we scored two goals from open play and the resilience to come back from the two penalties against us in 20 minutes was excellent.”
Acknowledging the blip in recent form, Smith added “The Chelsea game was always going to be a tough fixture, and we actually controlled the game for the first 30 minutes. The tides would have completely changed if we had managed to put it in the back of the net.
“The game against Villa, we had over 60% possession but again, not being able to score was the frustration.
“We approached the Everton game wanting and believing that we could get points.
“We opened them up, we scored goals, but it still wasn’t quite enough. We’re improving as the games go on, and I’m sure it’s going to come soon.”
Having been at Tottenham Hotspur for just over a month, Smith revealed that working with Skinner on her long-term project for the club is ‘exciting’ to be a part of.
Smith said “We’re doing it on a day-to-day basis, and in the next couple of years it’s all about changing the culture within the team, one that’s striving to be in the top four and to be the best.”
Praising the squad for their professionalism and receptiveness, Smith added “In terms of Rehanne’s philosophy and how she wants to play, they’re putting it into practice every single training session.
“The squad are so open minded and like all of us they want to be the best they can.”
Skinner’s Tottenham Hotspur side face a mid-table clash against Brighton & Hove Albion this Sunday, with three points separating the two teams currently sitting in seventh and eighth position in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
Smith ended by saying that the squad are looking to grab a win against Brighton & Hove Albion by being on the front foot.
She added “It’s important we take the game to them, show them what we’re about and what we’re looking at for the future in terms of how we want to play.”
Article author: Anna Minter