Lauren Smith: Bristol City ‘weren’t able to keep up with the press’ against Arsenal

‘Disappointed, frustrated,’ begrudged Lauren Smith when asked for her thoughts on Bristol City’s 5-0 loss to Arsenal at Meadow Park on Sunday. The Robins’ outing to North London was the start of their five-game countdown to the end of the season, in which they must overcome a seven-point deficit if they’re to remain in the Barclays Women’s Super League.

‘Results wise, it’s going to be difficult,’ Smith acknowledged. ‘We’ve got some good games against big teams that play really well.’

‘The attitude and the desire that I’ve seen in the team this week, and that we’ve seen in the second half after I questioned it at half-time, I know that they’re going to carry on regardless of what [the table] looks like,’ she added.

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But the Bristol City boss admitted that her side ‘were played off the park’ and that she was, at the time of her post-match interview, feeling ‘all of the emotions that come with that and a little bit of anger at times. At the moment, it feels really raw but I also think that Arsenal played unbelievably.’

‘I think we know that our standards this season have been higher. We’ve been harder to break down and harder to beat, and probably the Arsenal game at home was one of the the games we feel that. I do feel like Arsenal were ticking tonight – it shifted so quickly that we weren’t able to keep up with the press.’