Jonas Eidevall: ‘There shouldn’t be any complacency’ ahead of Sunday’s Conti Cup Final

With Arsenal preparing for the most important match of their season, Jonas Eidevall addressed the media on Friday from the club’s Sobha Realty Training Centre.

It has been a tumultuous season for the Gunners. They sit six points adrift of the WSL title race, and an early elimination from the UEFA Women’s Champions League sparked serious discussion amongst fans about Eidevall’s tenure.

February’s elimination from the Adobe Women’s FA Cup was another moment that Arsenal fans won’t be too keen to recall, and March 31 now provides the only opportunity to lift major silverware this season.

It won’t be an easy task though. The Gunners will face Chelsea at Molineux in the Conti Cup Final – and while they won that very matchup at Selhurst Park last year, the Blues have strengthened massively since then, running out 3-1 winners when they met at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

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Despite that, Eidevall brushed off any ideas of a mental obstacle within the camp. ‘I don’t think there is any mental obstacle for us saying that we couldn’t beat Chelsea, because we’ve done so on numerous occasions,’ he told reporters.

‘There also shouldn’t be any complacency going in. We’re playing against a very good team and they’ve beaten us on numerous occasions, so it’s really about coming down to the best team on the day. Preparation plays a huge part in that and that’s what we’re focusing on.’

‘We’ve been very focused on our processes and how we need to play and train in order to get there. Then, closer to the game we might have some motivational part coming.’

More than 24,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday’s showpiece final. While those numbers aren’t perhaps as impressive as attendances seen at Emirates Stadium throughout the season, Eidevall highlighted that the match falls on Easter Sunday and travel disruptions will make it difficult for fans to reach Wolverhampton for an all-London clash.

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‘The fans are very important for creating the atmosphere and belief on the stage, and our fans have been so great in doing so. When we speak about motivation for the players, to win for our fans, for all the hours that they put in travelling and supporting our team, it’s for them we need to play, it’s for them we need to win.’

Eidevall also expressed his thoughts on this being his last managerial matchup with Emma Hayes, as the Chelsea boss will leave SW6 this summer to become head coach of the United States Women’s National Team.

‘I’ve really enjoyed the games from a challenge perspective. I think that that has been really exciting to play against our teams, but rivalries in elite football, they will continue to come and when one ends, another one emerges. I don’t think there will be any shortage of rivalries in the WSL.’

Chelsea face Arsenal at Molineux on Sunday, with kickoff scheduled for 15:00 GMT – but if Arsenal’s recent matches are anything to go by, that could quite easily be pushed back!