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Our character was excellent - Mark
 Women's Football News 27 May 2013
 
Our character was excellent - Mark - 27 May 2013 - Women's Football NewsBristol Academy manager Mark Sampson was magnanimous in defeat to Arsenal in the F.A.Women's Cup Final but praised the spirit of his team. 
 
"We got off to a shocking start," he admitted, "but after that the character of the players was excellent.
 
"We've got such a young team that they could have thrown the towel in but they didn't. They rolled their sleeves up and stuck in there against a brilliant Arsenal team.
 
"We have some young players like Alex Windell and Jaz Matthews who were playing in their first Cup Final and they will come out as stronger players for the experience.
 
"People have been saying that Arsenal are on the slide but that's complete rubbish. They are a fantastic team and we would had to have been at our absolute best to get a result. We weren't quite at our best, we just lacked that bit penetration at either end of that pitch and in the end, we got punished for it."
 
The injury to Academy midfielder Lucy Staniforth was a shocking moment in the game and Sampson admitted: "It's too early to say officially how bad it is. Lucy doesn't go down easily. But it was great to see her back on the pitch at the end to get her medal (pictured)."
 
Sampson also reserved special praise for goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain who made a number of fine saves during the match. "I have worked with Siobhan for three years now and in all that time she has been with me, I can count the amount of mistakes she has made on one hand," she said.
 
Siobhan herself reflected the disappointment of the team at losing their second Final in three years. "We definitely weren't at our best and I think that was the most frustrating thing," she said. "If you can come off the pitch saying that you played your best and gave your all then you can't ask for anything more but I don't think we did that."

 
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