Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Kate Natkiel believes that this evening’s FA Continental Tyres Cup quarter-final against Manchester City will give the team the platform to express themselves.
Natkiel scored two goals in the match against rivals Crystal Palace during the group stage as Albion progressed to the knockout stages, and she was excited at the prospect of being tested against the two time cup winners. She also hoped the 2-0 league win over Liverpool at the weekend could help the team going into the match.
She said, “It’s always good to have a good cup run, and it’s even better to say that we are in the quarter-finals. With the type of draw that we have got, it’s always exciting to test yourself against a team like Manchester City with the quality of players they have.
“It’s also good that we can go into this match without the added pressure of the league, so we can go out onto the pitch and express ourselves.
“The result at the weekend is massive for our confidence. Getting the three points away from home was good for us as a group and always helps going into your next game.
“Hopefully we can now play well against City and create a good run which we will be able to keep going.”
The match is sandwiched in the middle of two league games, but the 26-year-old believes the full-time status of the club helps their preparation and described what test she expects the opponents to pose.
“It’s been a busy week for us but I feel as though everyone has now become accustomed to it now that we are all full-time, as we are all a bit more used to a long run of games.
“It could also be a game where different players will be able to get some minutes and potentially rest some players for another big match we have on Sunday against Everton.
"You always need to set up as though it is going to be a difficult match as City are one of the best teams in the country.
“We’re expecting it to be a hard game, but we’ve been working hard on the training pitch and we’re looking forward to putting it into practice out on the pitch.”