Lucy Bronze is determined to put the heartbreak of last season’s SSE Women’s FA Cup semi-final defeat behind her and has her eyes set on a place in the final this year.
The 25-year old scored late on against Reading Women to seal a place in the last eight of the competition and says the team is hungrier than ever to reach the spectacle at Wembley Stadium.
“With the season that we had last year, that (FA Cup) was the only thing missing,” she said.
“A last minute goal in 120 minutes against Chelsea, it was hard to swallow at the time but it’s made us come back stronger.
“It’s made us more hungry to get further in the FA Cup and actually reach the final.”
With a Champions League quarter final on the horizon, focus could have easily swayed towards the tie against Fortuna Hjorring but Bronze was quick to set the record straight.
She commented: “As well as focusing on the Champions League, at the same time we’ve got to realise that we’ve not won the FA Cup either.
“We’ve won the Continental Cup twice, the league once and the FA Cup is the one domestic title we’re really missing out on.”
Bronze continued: “As much as the Champions League is huge for the Club and we want to do well, it’s somewhere we haven’t been before.
“The FA Cup, we’ve got years and years of frustration of being so close but so far. It was so important to get through today.”
The victory against Reading puts the Blues within two games of Wembley and Lucy admitted that the game was frustrating at times, with the defender praising the Royals’ goalkeeper Mary Earps for her performance.
“I think it’s important for the Club to be in the next round of the Women’s FA Cup,” she remarked.
“Reading did what they came to do and frustrate us. Their goalkeeper (Mary Earps) had a great game as well.
“It was an important goal and an important win for us. We want to get through to the final and win the FA Cup.”
Earps made numerous top quality saves before Bronze broke the deadlock late on, which was a deserved goal after creating so many opportunities.
Bronze stated: “We have to be a bit more clinical in front of goal.
“There were a few chances that we should be scoring but, to be fair, the best player on the pitch was probably the Reading ‘keeper today.
“She did a job in stopping us as much as possible but we came through to win eventually.”
The game at the Academy Stadium saw the competitive debuts of Carli Lloyd and Melissa Lawley, with City’s number two commenting that the partnerships between new players in the squad are starting to flourish.
“Carli has been with us a week and Melissa is new to the team,” she said. “There’s new relationships being formed, Georgia Stanway playing in a different position.
“We’ve got a lot of relationships that need to be formed.
“It was a similar situation at the start of last year when we won our first league game 1-0 late on. It’s something to build on, definitely.”
When asked about the partnership with winger Lawley, Bronze believes that the bond has been growing a lot on the training pitch and will only get better.
“It’s definitely a good bond. It’s been building a lot in training.
“A lot of the girls are finding it easier to play together. It should be interesting to see how the season goes and the game are going to get more and more enjoyable.”
The draw for the SSE Women’s FA Cup quarter final will be made on Monday 20 March and we’ll have full coverage on our official Twitter account.