Caitlin Foord believes Arsenal will show togetherness and fight harder for each other as their injury list grows.
England will be sweating on the fitness of skipper Leah Williamson after she was forced off in a 1-0 defeat at Women’s Super League leaders Manchester United on Wednesday – adding to a lengthy list of Arsenal absentees.
Forwards Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema are recovering from serious knee injuries while captain Kim Little has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.
With four of their key players sidelined, the challenge for Jonas Eidevall’s side to add to their Continental Cup success this season is getting tougher by the week – but Foord insists those who are available will be putting in the extra yards to make it happen.
“These serious injuries have brought us closer together in a way, they have made other people step up too,” the Australia forward told the PA news agency.
“Players like Frida (Maanum), they have stepped in and have been flying. Missing those girls almost makes you want to work harder, fight even harder for each other – for your team-mates on the pitch and those who can’t play.
“You see those girls recovering in the gym and you know they would love to be in your position. You have to make the most of every opportunity – fight for yourself and for them as well because they can’t do it at the moment, as much as they would want to.”
Attention now turns to Wolfsburg with the first leg taking place in Germany on Sunday and Foord pushing to make her comeback.
Wolfsburg knocked them out at the quarter-final stage last season as a crowd of just 5,018 watched on inside the Emirates.
“The importance of last year’s game was the exact same as the Bayern Munich quarter-final we just played and in one year, the growth and the exposure of the team has been incredible,” added Foord.
“That comes off the back of our performances. We’ve had some gutsy wins there, I think that’s what’s caught people’s attention.
“We are a team that people want to support, we are exciting to watch and that is credit to the manager and the players.”
“It would be huge,” added Foord. “It is world class and to pack it out and get the fans in that we do – it is incredible.
“We were given the chance and we’ve grasped it with both hands with the way we play, the manner of our wins. It is a great pitch and it’s a great atmosphere there and to expand and have more fans being able to watch is great and it would be nice and eventually that is what is going to happen.”