Kim Little says Arsenal Women can handle the pressure in must-win Ajax decider tonight

It was great to see the Arsenal Women handle the pressure of 55,000 fans at thee Emirates to easily dispose of Tottenham at the weekend, but tonight’s Champions League second leg to qualify for the Group Stages is far, far more important than our local rivalry.

The young Ajax team were very impressive last week when they managed to hold Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane, but I think they took the Gunners by surprise with their quick high pressing, so I hope Jonas Eidevall’s team are much better prepared this evening.

Of course, the rewards of winning tonight and reaching the Group Stages will have a great impact on Arsenal’s season, with the home Group games already pencilled in to be played at the Emirates, so you would think there was a lot of pressure on the side going into such a crucial match.

But the Arsenal Women captain Kim Little doesn’t think that will be a problem for our experienced side. She said in FAWSLFullTime: “I think generally we switch off from that (added pressure). We know that we have the capability to progress to the next stage and we need to make sure that we do all we can to prepare. If we take care of that then we will progress, so first and foremost, that’s what we as players look at.

“For me, it adds excitement, it adds pressure which is part of what we do and is what makes it so exciting and enjoyable to play in. You have this group stage now – it’s a similar format to what the men’s (game) has had in the past – and it’s such a great competition to be a part of, so we obviously want to do everything we can to make sure we progress to that stage.”

It was great fun watching Arsenal beat Tottenham, but I am much more nervous ahead of tonight’s game, and will be watching at home on KickOff 6pm UK time.

Don’t miss it It will be a nail-biter!

Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Womens Team!

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