Tottenham Hotspur boss Rehanne Skinner is targeting a Vitality Women’s FA Cup upset against North London rivals Arsenal on Wednesday evening in a clash which will see the Barclays FA Women’s Super League’s top two go head-to-head.
Spurs temporarily moved to the league summit with a 1-0 home victory over Reading before Arsenal leapfrogged them after beating Manchester City 5-0 later in the day.
Last weekend, Spurs completed a big upset by defeating Manchester City 2-1 at The Academy Stadium. This led to Skinner’s side going into yesterday’s meeting with Reading with great confidence. Jessica Naz netted the game’s only goal five minutes from time to keep up Spurs’ 100% record and fire them, albeit temporarily, to the top of the league.
When speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Spurs boss Skinner couldn’t hide her glee when discussing her side’s impressive start to the season.
“I’m delighted we’ve got three wins out of three,” stated Skinner. “Wherever we are in the league table at this point, it’s a long way to go and we just have to make sure we keep putting in performances like that to enable us to keep getting points and where we end up at the end of it, we’ll see.
“As long as we keep doing our jobs really well then hopefully we’ll finish in a really good position.”
Before the game, Skinner told us about forward Jessica Naz’s love for Roald Dahl’s Matilda after creating a video of a famous scene on TikTok earlier in her career. After celebrating her 21st birthday on Friday, Naz was able to perform her own magic by scoring the late winner against Reading, leaving her head coach very proud.
Commenting on her match-winner, Skinner said “She’s a quiet character Jess but she’s coming out of herself more and more. I’ve always had a lot of belief in her as a player and worked with her for quite a long time.
“She’s got quite a lot to bring to this league and we were joking it’s just a matter of time, maybe her 21st birthday will be the thing that gets her over the line,
“You’ve got to give massive credit to Jiali (Tang) for the pass through and she’s took it very well. I’m pleased for the both of them.”
Under Skinner’s guidance, Spurs look like a team who are growing stronger and stronger as she edges ever closer to completing her first year in charge.
“We’re going to keep working on things,” Skinner said. “We have changed quite a significant number in the squad and that does take time to build and gel. As a group they’re really together, it’s about making sure everyone works as hard.
“I think the pleasing thing is today and against Manchester City as well, we’ve got players working as hard as they can to grind our opponents down and then we have players coming onto the pitch to win us the game. Every player in our team is valued massively and we know what they’re going to offer and bit by bit we’ll see more and more of those strengths, that’s a real positive for me.”
In their next game, Spurs face North London rivals Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. Skinner is under no illusion that this fixture brings her side’s biggest test yet, however, having recorded a 100% record so far this season, she believes that a famous FA Cup shock can be on the cards.
She commented by saying “Arsenal are a really difficult team and they’ve got a fantastic squad this year. Yet, the confidence we have and the belief will hopefully get us into a situation where we can cause them some problems and maybe another upset.”
Tottenham Hotspur will travel to Meadow Park on Wednesday to contest that mouth-watering North London derby in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.