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Erin Cuthbert ‘thriving’ with intense competition for places at Chelsea

Erin Cuthbert has hailed Chelsea’s squad depth as the Blues go about competing on four fronts this season, admitting she thrives off the fierce competition for places.

Cuthbert joined Chelsea in December 2016 and has witnessed the club blossom into a European powerhouse in the subsequent six years.

The Blues have invested heavily to attract talent from across the globe in the shape of Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr and Melanie Leupolz, while they brought in six new faces during the previous summer’s transfer window alone – five of whom were seasoned senior internationals.

Despite the continued influx of international stars, Cuthbert has been one of the first names on the team sheet over the past two seasons. The 24-year-old has been a real figure of consistency with her energetic, tenacious displays, and she has nailed down a starting spot in her preferred central midfield role this term after previously being seen as more of a utility player.

“When you see the players they’ve brought in: they’ve brought in Melanie, they’ve brought in Pernille,” said Cuthbert. “They’ve brought in so many people since I’ve been at the club, and I’m still here, I’m still standing, so I welcome competition, I thrive off it.

“I never want to be in a comfortable space where I feel like I’m not progressing. If I feel like I’m not progressing I wouldn’t be here, and that’s the time for a new challenge. But I feel like I’m always constantly being pushed at the club, I’m being pushed by other people, I’m pushing myself and it’s only going to help the team and help me as an individual.”

After seeing their WSL match against Liverpool postponed after six minutes at the weekend, Chelsea secured their safe passage through to the Continental Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday evening, with Cuthbert breaking the deadlock in the first half.

It leaves the Blues still competing in all three cup competitions, and sitting level on points with WSL leaders Manchester United as they aim to win the league title for a fourth season on the bounce. Cuthbert admitted that the strength of their squad puts them in the best position to do just that.

“I mean last year we won an FA Cup in December so it’s pretty late to be honest this time round!” Cuthbert replied with a laugh when asked about the boost that reaching a cup semi-final brings.

“We want to be competing on all fronts, we’ve certainly strengthened our squad again this year, it’s really competitive, everyone’s pushing in training. I think at times the training’s been harder than the games, it’s certainly been the case last week before the cancelled game was a really, really tough week, an intense week. But we’re all pushing because we all want to reach higher levels.

“We’ve not had a game in 10 days. We’ve had loads of training, a lot of intense training days, we cannae wait to play a game. I’m a footballer who hates training. Yous all might think I love training, and I do work so hard in training, but I hate it because I just want to play. I’m a footballer who just wants to play. I just want to play all the time, whenever I can.”

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