Josie Green: Spurs Ladies showed their gritty side in victory at Crystal Palace
Midfielder Josie Green hailed Spurs Ladies’ fitness, grit and determination as the Lilywhites beat Crystal Palace by a single goal on Sunday, earning their third consecutive victory at the start of the season.
Bianca Baptiste struck in the eighth minute and Karen Hills’ visitors held onto their lead until the end, with goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne saving a penalty shortly before the break and centre-back Renee Hector heading a goalbound lob off the line in the second half.
Tottenham generally prefer to play open, attacking-football – and they had beaten West Ham 10-0 in their previous outing – but Green was pleased that they showed a different side of their game in Sunday’s FA Women’s Premier League triumph.
“We know our fitness levels are good and we’re confident with that even before we go into a game, and our team spirit as well,” she said. “We will work together as a team and I think that just helps and shows when we play our football.
“Some games aren’t going to be as pretty as others. Obviously we’re not going to bang in 10 goals against a team like Crystal Palace because they’ve got some good, experienced players that played really well.
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“It just shows the toughness we have in this team now, that when we’re 1-0 up we can hold that until the end, and that’s very important.
“It just showed how hard we worked over the past few weeks in pre-season, and obviously when we got our win last week against West Ham and the win against Swindon as well.
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“Taking it into Sunday’s game we knew we had to be on point because they’re such a tough team, and I think we stepped up and showed what we can do.” Green was a dominant figure in the middle of the park alongside Riana Soobadoo and Sophie Mclean as Spurs battled belligerently when they came under pressure – but the midfielder reserved special praise for Wayne and Hector after their crucial interventions, which preserved the all-important clean sheet.
“Toni has just been amazing for us,” said Green. “To have a solid keeper in goal is so important, especially in women’s football, and that save before half-time kept us in the game and gave us momentum going into the break.
“She’s great – what a performance – and I don’t know how Renee cleared that [lob] off the line to be honest! Again, it another good performance from her and that was a key moment for us.”