Katie Zelem signs an autograph.

Zelem: I am used to the pressure

Wednesday 17 April 2019 11:00

Manchester United Women's in-form no.10 Katie Zelem spoke to the official matchday programme ahead of Wednesday's game with Aston Villa...

First of all, congratulations on being named Championship Player of the Month for March!
"Thanks! It’s a really proud moment for me. It’s nice to get recognition from people, and knowing that the fans have voted for this means even more."

Heading into our last four games, how do you think such recognition will motivate you?
"The last four games for us are massive and, to be honest, award or no award we need to win every one of them. I know that, the girls know that, and that’s the mentality we’re going into these games with."

Katie Zelem scores from the spot against Spurs.

You’ve taken the majority of the team’s penalties this season, as you did against Spurs. Have you always been confident stepping up to take them?
"I’ve always been confident taking them, to be honest, and I’ve taken them since I was little so I’m used to the pressure. I’ve missed a couple this season but it’s about how you bounce back from it. We have a lot of good penalty takers in the team so as long as somebody scores it, it doesn’t matter. I practise in training but Siobhan [Chamberlain] tends to remember everywhere you’ve put one so it makes it more difficult! It’s good to get the practice in, though."

What has been your highlight of the season so far: both for the team and personally?
"As a team, the highlight was beating Liverpool in the first game of the season. For such a new team at the time, to beat Liverpool was such a big thing. That result really brought us together. The Everton game was a personal highlight; we won 3-0 and to get a goal in that game was a big thing for me."

There are three games left after Aston Villa on Wednesday. What’s the mood like among the squad as we approach the end of the season?
"The season has flown by – it seems like it was just last week when we first got together! The mood is really high and we’re all really together as a team so we just want to win these last games and
finish the season strongly."

How much have you enjoyed being back in England following your time in Italy with Juventus?
"It’s great to be back and being home, not just in England but in Manchester near my family and friends and the club I grew up at. Some of the coaches I had are still the same so it’s nice have
that familiarity too."

Katie was speaking to Manchester United Women’s official match programme –  read the full Q&A in your free copy at the Aston Villa game on Wednesday (kick-off 19:00 BST at Leigh Sports Village).

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