Chelsea's Claire Rafferty confident ahead of WSL decider

Saturday 03 Oct 2015
Chelsea's Claire Rafferty is targeting nothing less than the WSL title on Sunday
Claire Rafferty is confident Chelsea have learned their lessons and are ready to claim their maiden WSL 1 title this weekend when they take on Sunderland.

The Blues sit two points clear at the top of the table, ahead of Manchester City, and victory over the Black Cats would see them crowned as FA Women’s Super League with BT Sport champions.

Sunderland’s 4-0 win in July was Chelsea’s biggest defeat this year but the England international believes her side – who were pipped to the title on the final day last season – have come on leaps and bounds since then. 

Chelsea v Sunderland

The FA Women's Super League with BT Sport
6pm, Sunday 4 October 2015
Staines Town FC
Live on BT Sport
By Charlie Talbot-Smith

"Sunderland are a bit of a bogey team for us, having lost to them earlier this season," she said.

"But we’re coming into this game in good form, we’re scoring goals and there’s no doubt we can take the title.

"We’ve watched the goals back from the 4-0 defeat and I don’t think we could play that badly again. 

"We’re using it as another tool to not let it happen again."

The defender believes that the senior players in the team will have been the difference if Chelsea do win their first WSL 1 title.

"The experience in our team is priceless, you have to take that and use it and we have," she said.

"We’ve got Katie Chapman, Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey and Hedvig Lindahl who are all very experienced. 

"When it gets tough, they’re the kind of people who you can always rely on. I look round and see them and it makes me take a sigh of relief."

Chelsea know that they could still win the title even if they fail to win, depending on Manchester City’s result against Notts County, but Rafferty does not want to rely on other teams.

"We’re not going to worry about the score in the Manchester City game," she added.

"I don’t even know when their match is, if it is at the same time as our game. We need to win, end of story, the City score is massively irrelevant.

"If we don’t win, I’m not even thinking about it, it would be awfully unjust."

Meanwhile, while Chelsea are planning on a title celebration, Sunderland will be hoping to send off Vicki Greenwell in style.

Sunderland defender Vicki Greenwell, who is set to retire at the end of the 2015 WSL season

Sunderland defender Vicki Greenwell, who is set to retire at the end of the 2015 WSL season

The 30-year-old defender is retiring after seven years with the Lady Black Cats.

She has been combining football with her career as a site manager for a civil engineering company and now believes she cannot do both at the same time.

"It has all been great, but I have a career which is important to me," she said.

"I work 50 hours a week in my job and it’s hard to commit to the training, the rest and the diet required for WSL 1."

After struggling to get into the side at the start of the season, Greenwell bounced back to become a first team regular at left-back.

"I nearly walked away, but then I thought ‘let’s do this year, you’ve come this far," she added.

"I am glad I did and winning a place in the side and playing every week has been a bonus.

"If we can win on Sunday that would be the icing on the cake."

By FA Staff