Schillaci hails Spurs Ladies’ game management ahead of cup semi-final showdown with West Ham

Spurs Ladies captain Jenna Schillaci (centre). Picture:

Spurs Ladies captain Jenna Schillaci (centre). Picture: - Credit: Archant

Spurs Ladies are one game away from reaching the Boux Avenue Women’s Cup Final for the third successive season - and they can take a big step towards defending their trophy when they take on London rivals West Ham in the final four on Wednesday.

The Lilywhites go into the tie in magnificent form, having won 19 of their last 20 games and drawn the other, and captain Jenna Schillaci feels the squad’s improved game management has been important.

“It’s been a massive factor in our success so far this season - we have matured a lot as a team since last season,” she said. “We know we have the quality to beat teams - we always have - but in the past we didn’t manage games properly or we would run out of ideas if things weren’t going our way and as a result, we would drop points.

“This season we have managed games well and we have been clever on the pitch when things aren’t going our way. The coaching staff prepare us for these moments and we trust in what they are telling us to do, which has paid off as we still remain unbeaten in all competitions.

“The depth and quality of the squad is so good that we can adapt the way we play depending on what challenges we’re faced with.

“It’s [also] down to the team spirit we have within the squad. If you see your team-mates running through brick walls it inspires you to do the same. We know we are at our most effective when we work together as a team, not individually, and that’s when teams find it hard to break us down.

“We have only conceded a handful of goals so far this season and scored more than in previous seasons, which is amazing. The girls’ attitude on and off the pitch has been great. We know we are one of the teams to beat this season, which motivates us even more.”

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Schillaci continued: “After last season’s success in the cups, the girls are hungry to win more. We are one step away from reaching our first final this season and that will be motivation enough for the girls.

“Obviously the girls are on a high at the moment and are feeling confident going into the game, but we know we can’t let our standards drop, no matter who we come up against.”

Schillaci was among the scorers in a 10-0 victory when the sides met earlier in the season as Tottenham knocked the Hammers out of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup, but the level-headed leader says all eyes are on the present.

She continued: “The girls put in an amazing performance that day. West Ham’s team has changed since we played them and they now have new management so it may be a totally different game.

“We prepare for each game in the same way and go into the matches with the same attitude and work ethic, no matter what the previous results were. The 10-0 win is in the past and we are now focused on Wednesday and getting to the final.”