Erin Cuthbert on Women's FA Cup final: We know we can beat Man Utd

Erin Cuthbert is targeting another trophy with Chelsea at Wembley
Erin Cuthbert is targeting another trophy with Chelsea at Wembley / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert has never yet finished on the losing side in a game against Manchester United, with the Blues beating the Red Devils in each of their last five WSL meetings, as well as last season’s Conti Cup semi-final.

That stellar record in the fixture gives Cuthbert and her Chelsea team-mates the belief that the sold-out Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley on Sunday will be no different.

United, who also currently lead the WSL, have leapfrogged both Arsenal and Manchester City to become Chelsea’s greatest competition this season as Emma Hayes’ side aim to complete a third consecutive league and FA Cup double. United are gunning for the same thing.

“They’re quite an aggressive team. Very good in wide areas, they’ve got fast players who are very technical and have had very good seasons,” Cuthbert said as she looks ahead to Sunday.

“They’re a team that’s hungry. When you’ve not won anything, you have a certain hunger and desire to get there and we’ve got to match that as a bare minimum. When they were the underdogs people would think they would never win but now they want to prove to everyone themselves and become a really good team. They’re right up there competing with us and it shows in the league how toe to toe we’ve gone all season to show the quality of their dressing room.

“Of course, mentally it does play a part that we beat them in both [WSL] games. It’s quite a good psychological advantage knowing that we can beat them.”

Even so, Cuthbert, who scored against United at Leigh Sports Village in November after making a mistake that cost a goal earlier in that game, has denied there is a clear favourite in the final.

“We go into the game with two teams who are very evenly matched. I don’t know if there is a favourite. Both teams have been performing very well this season,” she explained.

“I respect Man Utd. I think what they’ve done is brilliant. Their resilience to bounce back from last year when they missed out on the Champions League has been amazing. But I think we’ve picked up a bit of momentum in the Champions League.”

Read the latest Women's FA Cup news here


As far as Cuthbert is concerned, the ultimate motivation for Chelsea is the feeling that ‘everybody's been against us’ throughout this season.

“It's just added fuel to our fire,” she said. “I think everybody expects the winning team to slip up all the time, so it's our job to keep proving we are still at the top. Having a target on your back each and every season is quite hard, staying at the top is hard, it requires a lot of sort of psychological training, mental training, mental toughness, mentality. But that's drilled into us in training every day.”

Cuthbert has seen her own game develop this season. Having once been something of a utility player, she is now at home in the heart of Chelsea’s midfield and arguably one of the first names on the teamsheet. She can influence games more as a result and has that personal belief.

“I would love to be the difference maker [in the final],” she said.

“I’m one of the players who feels they can take the game by the scruff of the neck. There’s certain players you want in battle and being from Scotland, being a young girl from Ayrshire who’s had to work for everything, I kind of understand and I get it.

“I want to be on that battlefield fighting for everyone else. Emma’s been drilling that mentality into everyone. We all want to be involved in the battle. We’re all good football players but when we talk about fine margins it’s who wants to win the battle, who has the mentality, who has the mettle to give everything when you feel you can’t give anymore.

“The FA Cup final last year epitomised exactly all of that. When you feel like giving up, you seem to find a way. We drill that every day in training by playing competitive games. I hate losing, you can ask anyone and they’ll say I’m the worst loser in the team. I cannot stand it because I want to win everything. That mentality has put me in a good stead to improve.”

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!