Matildas star’s message to her injured Aussie teammate Sam Kerr

Mary Fowler said she has reached out to injured Matildas superstar Sam Kerr following her serious knee injury as she hailed the Chelsea striker’s “character”.

Kerr is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which has cast doubts over her Olympic campaign should the Matildas qualify for the Paris Games by beating Uzbekistan in February.

It is a big blow not only for Kerr and Australia, but her Women’s Super League (WSL) club – defending champions Chelsea, who top the standings.

“I sent her a message, I think she’s probably got a lot on her plate at the moment,” Fowler told Stats Perform. “I think the way that people see her reacting is a testament to her character.

“She’s a very resilient kind of person. It was terrible to hear that news and I feel bad for her. So hopefully it’s a quick recovery for her. I feel for her.”

One-time WSL champions City return to action from the competition’s winter break on Sunday, when they take on Liverpool.

As it stands, City are second, three points behind leaders Chelsea and level on points with third-place Arsenal, with Manchester United and Liverpool four points behind.

With such a tight title race, the pressure is well and truly on, but City’s Fowler, who scored in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Durham last week, believes that helps keep her team-mates on their toes.

“I think it’s really exciting actually. It just makes us all so much more competitive and I think you can see it out on the training field, everyone just wants to win so much,” Fowler said.

“I think sometimes when you’re in that third place, fourth place position, you’ll want it but you’re like, ‘Damn it, we’re not going to come first’.

“So I think being in such a close battle at the top, it just keeps everyone on their toes and at the top of their game.

“Obviously, there’s a bit of pressure that comes with that, but we’ve earned the right to be up there and try and contest to win the title.”

FOWLER MAKES IT FOUR!!

0-4 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/KtpOdpDxYE

— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) January 14, 2024

Jill Roord, Lauren Hemp and England star Chloe Kelly are among the superstar names in City’s squad, and Fowler sees those big names as another source of motivation.

“It helps greatly,” the 20-year-old said.

“I think the competition that we have within the squad is great and it’s lifted training a lot and having players who are all performing at the top of their game, it’s great to watch.

“I think they’ve all done so well, we’ve all done so well to get to this point and I think everyone appreciates that and then kind of puts it aside because now it’s the second half [of the season].

“If everyone stays in form from what we had first half, I think we’ll do well.”

City striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw is the leading scorer in the WSL, with nine goals from as many games.

“She’s been amazing,” Fowler said of Shaw. “I think you get the ball to Bunny, you know it’s going to go on the back of the net.

“We’re super lucky to have her in the team and it’s amazing getting to work with her and to watch her play. It’s a big weapon that we have, to be able to have Bunny in the box and have her getting so many goals, every game.”