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Remi Allen: 'I'm really proud of the group'

Remi Allen, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)

Remi Allen’s head coaching career started with a 2-1 comeback win over Reading, with goals from Paige Satchell and Emma Mukandi making the difference.

The Pride fell behind to a Brooke Hendrix header on the stroke of half-time, but responded brilliantly in the second-half to wrestle all three points from the Royals.

Allen spoke with reporters after the match, here is every word she said.

WSL Full-Time: Congratulations on the win, the Club’s first since November. After a positive start, how did the game change after the team fell behind?

Naturally, the momentum tends to swing after each team scores and we saw that today. I think we dealt with the pushback following our goals well across the board, although we will look at how quickly our defence drops deep because I feel that we can defend higher and I want us to be brave with that.

The players showed experience and nous in terms of how they managed the game and slowed the opposition down – and I’m proud of them for that.

WSL Full-Time: How much will your experience as a player in the league help you through the final five games?

I obviously know the league, having played in it and against many of the players we’ll come up against. It’s about us, though. The priority for me coming is to work with the girls on our structure and how we want to play. We’ll always profile the opposition, but there is some work to do with our team.

We have lots of youth, talent, and experience – it’s now about blending it together as we look to put points on the board.

WSL Full-Time: Where there any aspects of today’s game that you want to build on?

For sure. In the huddle at the end of the game, I mentioned that the bench was kicking every ball in the final minutes. I see a real togetherness when I look around and we’ll bring ourselves away from the bottom of the table if we keep that going forward.

LCL Media: Paige Satchell, coming back from injury, what did you make of her first start?

Honestly, I thought she ran her socks off and some more. I honestly didn’t expect that from her in terms of where she’s at [with her return to play]. She was incredible with how she stretched the lines and caused them problems. I actually didn’t know how fast she was until today and I was like ‘wow’ – she is a real talent. Paige should be really proud of herself.

LCL Media: Lucy Fitzgerald tends to be one of our unsung heroes, what did you make of her performance in another new position?

She’s like a Duracell Battery – she doesn’t stop. I was really pleased with her performance because I was asking her to go up and down the pitch as a wing-back, which she did exceptionally well.

We haven’t had long to add a lot of detail to how we want to play – but Lucy took on what we asked of her really well. She was really good.

LCL Media: How did Reading’s goal right on the stroke of half-time affect your message to the team?

Obviously, it was disappointing but the message to the team didn’t really change. Besides the goal, Reading didn’t really cause us many issues in the first-half. We spoke about some of the things we could tidy up and how we could hurt them, but the message didn’t really change. I’m proud of how the team responded.

LCL Media: It’s only your second day in the office, how pleased are you wil how the team adapted to a new shape?

I have to give credit to the team that was here before me – Smudge [Darren Smith], Luke [Thomas-Arayo], and Max [Brandelli], they started the process on this. I just came in yesterday and gave a little bit more detail, so we wouldn’t be in this situation without them.

It also shows me that this group is smart and brave enough to do something differently and apply themselves really well. There are going to be challenges, but we’re in it together now.

LCL Media: Lastly, is there anything or anyone else you’d like to mention?

I’d just like to say thank you to the fans. Thank you for travelling, we heard you today and we’re looking forward to our first home game in a while. Keep supporting the team because you will help make a difference for the rest of the season.



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