Sophie Mclean: Everyone at Tottenham Ladies has worked so hard to get this far
PUBLISHED: 14:30 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 19 April 2017
©Ying Pan Wu , Wu's Photography, wusphotography.com
Midfielder reflects on dramatic victory over Cardif City and Wednesday’s showdown with rivals West Ham United at White Hart Lane
Box-to-box midfielder Sophie Mclean alluded to proper preparation being behind Spurs Ladies’ never-say-die mannerism and believes the emotions at the end of the 2-1 turnaround against Cardiff City shows how much they want to win.
Cori Williams broke the deadlock just six minutes in from afar and it took until the 84th minute for substitute Nikita Whinnett to stroke home the equaliser for Tottenham.
And Spurs weren’t finished yet, as Wendy Martin duly delivered an inch-perfect curl across goal, six minutes deep into injury time, to set up a potential FA Women’s Premier League Southern title victory at White Hart Lane Wednesday.
Mclean said: “It means everything – all the girls and coaches were emotional. The hard work we’ve put in this season and in previous seasons to get ourselves now higher in the league is a credit to all the work that goes on behind the scenes.
“All the coaches – from Anton (Blackwood, strength and conditioning) to Sarah (Budd, physio) – it’s so important because we wouldn’t be able to do what we do on the pitch if our preparation wasn’t as good.
“We left it very late, I believe it was in the last 12 minutes! The belief, desire and passion from all the girls is just amazing.
“Everyone works hard for each other on and off the ball, and it proved again with us scoring two goals late on with literally the last kick – we never give up.
“You just have to pick yourself up, as soon as it went in it was 0-0 for us again. We took it and got our heads straight back up and we all just focused on regrouping.
“You just have to play the game – we were a bit devastated going behind so early, but we knew we had the ability to comeback.
“We’ve done it before, beating other teams from 1-0 down and we knew that our team spirit and togetherness would shine through.”
Mclean also stressed the importance of the squad’s mental and physical strengths – adding that Karen Hills’ team have developed the habit of being driven by that competitive edge.
She added: “It’s so important to have girls that can come in and do the exact same job – it’s healthy for the squad.
“We all work so hard for each other, and for Nikita to come on and get a goal like that, in a game like this, was vital for us.
“And then super Wendy! We had a few chances before that, we hit the crossbar three times. Bianca Baptiste’s cross literally went behind me and I saw Wendy there.
“She’s been amazing for us, she scores a lot of our goals. She still could have missed, but for her to be there at that moment just goes to show all the hard work that she puts in at training.
“The shooting, crossing and practising consistently is paying off. To have that type of quality up front, just helps us out a lot!”
As touched upon, the Lilywhites have the opportunity of a lifetime on the club’s main stage when rivals West Ham United visit.
Mclean says they want to take full advantage in the lifetime of the opportunity and clinch the division crown.
She added: “It’s going to be a hard game. West Ham are going to be up for it, but we just have to prepare ourselves in the exact same way we have been doing. Hopefully that will pay off on Wednesday at White Hart Lane and we’ll win the league.”