- LCFC Women were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in the WSL on Sunday afternoon
- A late showing from the hosts denied the Foxes a point on their travels
- Manager Jonathan Morgan is taking the positives from a strong performance
- He was pleased with the way the team competed against the title holders
Pernille Harder’s 82nd-minute goal finally broke Leicester’s stubborn rearguard at Kingsmeadow before Fran Kirby clinched the three points for the Blues in added time.
Though disappointed at not being able to see out the final few minutes and earn a first point in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Morgan was still immensely proud of how the team performed in the capital.
“I’m proud, encouraged and just really pleased with how we played today,” the manager told LCFC TV after full-time. “It’s still a little bit bittersweet because I thought we might have just been able to sneak that point.
“But at the same time, we’ve got to be realistic. We’ve just played four or five players on the Ballon d'Or list and a team that is full of quality. We took them to the full 90 minutes.
“It’s really heartwarming when their players are coming up to us saying: ‘That was class from you guys’. We can only take that and hold our heads up high. I think we played fantastically today.
“Every Leicester City fan, everyone connected to the Club, can hold their heads up high to these girls today because they’ve not only come to the home of the champions of England, but we also actually competed and frustrated them.
“We nullified them for large portions of the game. They created a lot of chances, but not many clear-cut chances. The girls can really use this, and, in my opinion, we’ve now arrived in the WSL. Now we’ve shown what we can do, we just need to build on that.”
The character that was being shown among the players was phenomenal.Jonathan Morgan LCFC TV
After a goalless 45 minutes which was full of heart and endeavour from Leicester, there was plenty more of the same in the second half, but in the end, the home side’s quality shone through as they called upon the likes of record signing Harder, Australian international Sam Kerr and former PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year So-Yun Ji.
“The players were doing all the talking for me,” Morgan revealed, offering an insight into the half-time team talk in the Foxes dressing room at the break. “It was positive, it was pure positivity in that dressing room at half-time.
“The character that was being shown among the players was phenomenal. Other than that, I just said to the girls that only half the job was done and they all knew what I meant by it. We needed to go back out at give the same performance.
“I also made it clear to the subs that they would be massive today. They were going to be huge for us. Credit to Sophie Howard, who has played up front as a centre back. Paige [Bailey-Gayle] and Esmee [De Graaf], they all came on and had an impact on the game in different ways.
“I was on the sidelines looking at Emma [Hayes] making some of these subs and she’s got a wealth of depth, extremely class players and they were players that could change the game as you saw with Harder coming on.”
Morgan: The Players Can Hold Their Heads High
Manager Jonathan Morgan's assessment of LCFC Women's late WSL defeat to Chelsea at Kingsmeadow.
The Foxes now enter a three-week break before their next WSL fixture, at home to Manchester City on Sunday 7 November (2pm BST kick-off), which comes after the international break and a midweek League Cup clash against Everton.
For Morgan, it provides a good opportunity for more of the squad to return to full fitness and offer a welcome break from the rigours of competitive action.
He added: “We’ll keep the positivity. Happiness is key for me. One of the reasons why we could come and do what we did today is because there is an underlining happiness and togetherness within this squad, which is clear to see.
“In these next few weeks, there’s a few players, like Siggy (Jess Sigsworth), who have worked tremendously hard over the first part of the season, that we’ll give a bit of a break.
“A few of them will get a rest, we’ll rejuvenate, regroup, work on what we need to work on and then be ready for Man City. We know that we can compete and we want to now just take this momentum into Man City.”
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