Author Topic: Akers enjoys finest hour  (Read 714 times)

Offline David

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Akers enjoys finest hour
« on: April 30, 2007, 08:56:12 AM »
Vic Akers saw two decades of hard work rewarded today as his Arsenal LFC side prevented Umeå IK from scoring again to win the UEFA Women's Cup final 1-0 on aggregate. Alex Scott's goal in Sweden last week settled things in the Gunners' favour, and Akers knew it needed "a massive effort" from his players to keep the Swedish champions at bay as they laid siege to the home goal late on, twice hitting the woodwork. Andrée Jeglertz felt Umeå were the better team over two legs, but remained gracious in defeat as rounds up the reaction from Meadow Park.

Vic Akers, Arsenal manager
It's a great moment. You don't get anything without putting the effort in and that's what we've done – it was a massive effort and we've got the reward. It was very difficult to hang on at the end, the players were getting tense and having to defend much harder. They brought some more attacking players on and made it difficult but you can't take anything away from us. We've been in this competition for five out the six years, an outstanding record, and it's a massive boost for the game in Great Britain that the trophy has been taken out of Scandinavia and Germany. We should see more kids playing now and an improvement higher up.

It's a personal landmark for me and the fact that we're in our 20th year makes it even more special. We already have the League Cup and Premier League in the trophy cabinet this season and now we have the biggest trophy of them all, with the FA Cup final to come. We have three games to go if we are to be unbeaten through the season and that would be another fantastic achievement. I can't put my finger on what the difference is this year. I was thinking that maybe we'd need another defender, possibly two, if we were to challenge but we've been playing midfielders in defence and they've been outstanding. It's fantastic to keep two clean sheets, a real buzz. You can see that there's a different focus when you're playing against a great side. They're still a great side and will be thereabouts again next season – hopefully we will be too.

Andrée Jeglertz, Umeå coach
We could have won both games. We didn't score our goals, and they scored one and won because of that. We were the better team over two games and deserved better, our problem was obviously not scoring, but maybe we didn't deserve the luck. We had a lot of possession, especially in the second half, and lots of chances. We should have been more clinical in their penalty area, but that's the way it is. It's hard to speak of positives when you have just lost a final but I think we really tried and pushed for the win. We have some new players, some young players, who fought all the time and they don't deserve to leave here a loser. That bodes well for the rest of the season. Arsenal have a good defence, their goalkeeper was good today, and they're a very good team – the best in Europe, in fact, so I congratulate Vic for stopping our best players over two games.