Earps: We can’t take our foot off the gas
Manchester United Women’s goalkeeper Mary Earps is hoping the Reds can maintain our excellent start to the 2020/21 season, as we return to league action this weekend.
Casey Stoney’s side travel to Everton on Sunday for what is the first WSL match of 2021, following the Christmas break. The Reds enjoyed a superb opening to the season, winning eight of our 10 league matches so far this term.
It means we started the new year top of the table, but Earps knows there is still plenty of hard work ahead if the team is to achieve its aims this season.
“To finish as high up the table as we possibly can,” the keeper responded, when asked what her hopes are for the new year.
“We’ve had a strong start but every game poses a completely different challenge and I think we’ve got some great results this year, but we can’t let our foot off the gas now, we have to push through.
Earps: My hopes for 2021Video
“There are a lot of games in 2021, so we want to finish as high up the league as we can, get as far as we can in cup competitions and maybe get a taste of silverware. We want to win every game and win everything, so we just have to prepare as best as we can to put ourselves in a position to do that.”
Speaking to club media, the keeper was also asked about the goals she sets for herself and the team, and whether she looks at the season as a whole or takes each game as it comes.
“I think at the beginning of the year we always have objectives that we know are objectives we’re setting out to achieve, so that we can hold ourselves accountable throughout the season and at the end of the season.
“But, in terms of achieving those goals, it very much is a game-by-game process. I personally never really look at the table too early because there’s no real point.
“A lot can change overnight and in the space of a couple of games and, ultimately, we just have to focus on what we’re doing and what we’re putting out on the pitch. If we do that, I think we’ll be pretty much where we want to be, come May.”
That’s certainly the aim for the United keeper, who is dreaming about European nights with our incredible supporters.
“I mean, I love the Champions League. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in it a few times before for previous clubs and it is the creme de la creme; it’s where the best players in the world play,”said Earps.
“I think it’s the best club competition in the world but obviously we go step by step. I think a lot of girls would be feeling it for the first time; the Champions League music gives me goosebumps, you just can’t beat walking out to that.
“I’m thinking at Leigh Sports Village, in front of our fans, it would be incredible, but we’ve got a lot of hard work to do before then and a lot of points we have to get on the board before that’s even a possibility.
'It's the quickest I've ever moved on something'Video
“So again, we go game by game, not getting ahead of ourselves, but taking confidence from what we’ve done so far, keeping our foot on the throttle and making sure we finish it through.
“You look at the individuals that have come to play in the WSL, the strength of the opposition is getting stronger now every single week,”she added.
“No game is easy. I think we showed that last season. We played teams close to the bottom of the league and dropped points, we know that wasn’t good enough. We know if you want to be in the top three and qualifying for the Champions League, you have to find a way to win.We’re never always going to be at our best, but we have to find a way to win and that’s going to be the key. I think we’ve done that so far this season.”
To read the full interview with Mary, make sure to get your copy of February’s Inside United.