Millwall 0-1 Durham: Sarah McFadden reaction
McFadden watches her header striker the bar during the match (credit: Simon Roe)

Millwall 0-1 Durham: Sarah McFadden reaction

McFadden praises resilience and team mentality as Durham claim another win

Sophie Lawson

Following Durham’s narrow win over Millwall at the Den VAVEL spoke to Wildcat, Sarah McFadden about the match and how humble Durham are taking WSL 2 by storm this year.

Familiar story

After dominating the first-half, Durham lead through a solitary goal and despite a number of good chances couldn’t increase their advantage. As Millwall came back at them in the second-half, the Wildcats dug in and held out to claim all three points but the win should never have been in danger. McFadden was glad to have the win but was aware on another day they mightn’t have been so lucky:

If you look at the first-half it’s been the story of the season; play really well, should finish teams off but just not taking our chances. It nearly came back to bite us today but we grafted and got dug in in the second-half – Millwall had clear chances where they could have won the game. But we’re resilient and always willing to put bodies on the line, today we stuck at it and ended up getting all three points in the end.” 

Incepted just a few years ago, Durham have steadily been growing, season after season. With a healthy mix of experience and youth, the team is a composed unit on the pitch, players all committed to the cause. The midfielder was keen to praise Wildcat boss, Lee Sanders for the growing success of the team:

He’s very positive, he knows how to instil confidence into individual players and that’s something that some of us haven’t had in a while. And that’s what builds from the Tuesday in training, he makes us the best we can be mentally so no one is going into a game with doubts – we know out on the pitch that we’re all going to fight for each other.”

WSL 1 bound?

The dark horses of the promotion race, McFadden insists that Durham aren’t getting ahead of themselves, humble to a tee, always expecting a tough game, no matter who the opposition:

“We know we’re not an Everton or a Bristol, we come into games thinking we’re around about the same level as everyone else in the league. We’ve got a lot of younger players and it’s only our third season in WSL but I think it actually works in our favour; we never really go into a game thinking, ‘we’re going to hammer them.

We’re growing, the difference between this year and last year is just that we’re able to see games out and get the three points – if we played this game last year we’re probably getting beaten.

Sat in fourth, consistent throughout the season and still very much in a promotion position, the Wildcats aren’t planning out trips to the Academy Stadium and Borehamwood just yet:

We’ll talk about it but then we’ll just start laughing about it, we’re too modest to think we could actually be one of the two that goes up. Obviously we’d love to be promoted but right now there’s still four games left; four very hard games, and as you can see from today, no game is a given.”

Taking each game as it comes, with Bristol, Watford, Everton and Millwall their last four games, McFadden is looking forward to each:

All of them I think, you can see from today, everyone wants to pick up points no matter where they are in the table and everyone is going to fight. In terms of Everton and Bristol, we all know that they’re training a lot more than we are, they’ve got a lot of youth internationals; they’re always going to give you a good game, even when we’re at home. And we’ve got Millwall again, after today they’re going to be going home thinking, ‘how did we not beat them?’ so no game is going to be easy. It’s just a great time of the season to be playing.”