Whinnett ecstatic as Tottenham Ladies reach third cup final

Tottenham's Nikita Whinnett (pic wusphotography.com)

Tottenham's Nikita Whinnett (pic wusphotography.com) - Credit: Archant

Unbeaten squad chasing silverware on three fronts

Nikita Whinnett says the Tottenham Ladies squad are ecstatic to be in their third successive final – repeating last season’s feat – but is adamant Karen Hills’ Lilywhites will not be getting carried away any time soon.

A 3-0 win over fellow high-flyers Cardiff City saw them comfortably into the FA Women’s Premier League Cup Final against Charlton Athletic, who they already face in both the Boux Avenue (Ryman) and Capital Women’s Cup Finals at the back-end of the season.

Whinnett followed Wendy Martin and Leah Rawle on to the scoresheet in their success and feels their desire is unmatched.

“It feels great, we thoroughly deserve it,” she said.

“The girls, from the first whistle to the last, they don’t stop regardless – whether it’s the weather or we’re all just having a bad day. We just come together and pull through.

“I’ve never been at a club like this before, I really haven’t, so to have all that togetherness no matter whether we’re behind or in front, it’s phenomenal. It’s the best club I’ve ever played for in my life.

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“I think the Brighton game showed just how good we are, because you wouldn’t have known who was in the Women’s Super League.

“We didn’t have the greatest first half (against Cardiff), which we haven’t lately, but our fitness really does show in the second-half and I think that’s what keeps us different from the other teams.

“We showed our fitness, how hard we work and how passionate we are. All the credit has to go to the staff really for what they put in.

“I don’t really socialise with the girls a lot outside because I live quite far, but when I come on a Sunday they make you feel part of everything. Once we’re on that pitch, we fight for each other, we give everything and that’s what we’re all about.

“All the girls are about working hard, so for me to have other girls around me who have got that fight like me, shows that I’m in the right place, I’m exactly where I need to be.”

As alluded to, despite Spurs being 3-0 up in the tie, they kept persevering for a fourth and Whinnett pinpointed it on the ever-present will to win, as well as the motivation to avoid a repeat of last week’s dramatic Capital Cup semi-final victory, on penalties, at Crystal Palace.

She added: “I’m scared about losing, because we haven’t yet, that starts with the coaches as well. The work they put in, the mentality, frame of mind they get us into sets us for each game.

“The way they talk to you – Karen (Hills) comes in each week with little quotes and it really does spur us on, gets into our heads and makes us want the best from ourselves and each other.

“If one person scores, everyone else wants to score, even our goalkeeper! Everyone just wants to drive on and win – the passion we put in – everyone just wants to give their all, it’s fantastic.

“Thankfully Megs (Megen Lynch) did pull it out of the bag last week and the girls said before the game we don’t want extra time, we don’t want penalties! To finish it in 90 minutes is what we want to do in every game but it doesn’t always happen, we’re just buzzing.”

Despite an impressive run of 26 games unbeaten in all competitions, Whinnett says the squad are gearing up for a series of season-defining games, starting next week with Charlton.

“As much as everyone is buzzing and we’re the team to beat, we haven’t actually achieved our end targets yet,” she added.

“It’s great to be in three finals but anything can happen on the day. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we are taking each game as it comes, and it’s just about doing things one step at a time.”