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Hourihan Targeting A Fast Start

By James Hilsum • 25 March 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Marie Hourihan says the side must come out of the traps quickly against Sheffield FC on Sunday, as they prepare for their first FA WSL 2 game in over four weeks.
Albion took just four minutes to break the deadlock in a 5-1 victory over Oxford United last month, and Hourihan hopes for a similar start against a Sheffield side that has only lost once at home so far this season.
She said, “We know that Sheffield have got quite a good record at home, so we’re expecting a tough game.
“We’ve got to make a fast start like we did against Oxford and try to capitalise on the solid training we’ve done in the weeks since then, but we know it’s a difficult place to go and we’re anticipating a tough game.
“The break has given Hope [Powell, Albion manager] time to look at everything both in and out of possession, familiarising everybody with their responsibilities, and nailing them down with a couple of friendlies.
“In a way, you want to carry on playing games after winning a couple, just to keep the momentum going, but equally it’s sometimes good to refresh and drill down on things that you need to work on.”
Hourihan arrived on the club on a loan deal from Manchester City until the end of the season, and has relished her new challenge on the south coast.
“I’ve really enjoyed it; it was a complete change of environment and I’ve been here a month now and got to know the girls really well, as well as how Hope likes to play.
“I’ve settled well and I’m enjoying myself. So far it’s been really good.
“Whenever you come into a new team, you’ve got to prove yourself and show to everyone else that you’re good enough to be a part of the team. You’ve got to wait for your opportunity and take it when it comes.
“There are two very good goalkeepers here already in Chloe [Sansom] and Lucy [Gillett] that both want to play games. We’re all working well collectively though, so it’s helping to push the team in the right direction.”
The Republic of Ireland international has two Albion appearances to her name so far, and believes the difference in standard between FA WSL 1 and FA WSL 2 is slowly decreasing.
“I have to say in terms of the technically quality of the league, there’s not a big difference.
“The only difference in FA WSL 1 is that teams are full-time, so you’ve got the physicality element and their fitness levels are higher, but in terms of the tempo and standard of this league, I’ve been very impressed.
“I knew that anyway because I’ve played against FA WSL 2 teams before and year on year, the standard is improving and the gap is becoming smaller and smaller. For me it’s been refreshing and I’ve really enjoyed coming into it.”

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