Powell: Let's deal with the pressure

Hope Powell encouraged her players to cope with the added scrutiny of being expected to pick up a result when they host Bristol City in a Continental League Cup match this afternoon.

By James Hilsum • 20 October 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Hope Powell speaks to the media ahead of Sunday's game.

Albion host the Vixens at The People’s Pension Stadium in their second group stage fixture at the weekend, and Powell says it’s up to the players to live up to the added expectations.

She said, “In the games where you’re not given a chance or people don’t think you’ll get anything, it’s probably easier to relax and enjoy them more.

“You’re trying to prove something against a team that’s expected to beat us. For that reason, you find that extra ten per cent.

“If you are expected to do well, it brings added pressures, and they can turn into a negative if you don’t play with a freedom that you otherwise would when you’re not expected to win the game.

“I’ve been in games where you’re expected to lose, and you take the attitude that it doesn’t matter, so you have a go anyway.

“Now we’re looking at it as though we’re expected to compete against Bristol and West Ham, so that invites pressure, and we need to work on how we deal with that.”


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Powell's Bristol City press conference

Powell is expecting Sunday’s visitors to be stubborn to break down, and highlighted Bristol’s 1-1 draw away at Liverpool as an example of their defensive resolve.

“I watched them play against Liverpool last week, and they defended very well. We played quite well when we played them away from home, but their defensive line and our lack of cutting edge in front of goal meant we only got a draw.

“That’s part of their philosophy and they picked up quite a few points last season by being organised, but we’ve got to try and break them down.

“It’s going to be a very tough game for us, but we’ll give it a very good go.”

By Geoff Penn
Albion fans watch on at The People's Pension Stadium.

The Albion manager reacted to the news of Wembley being sold out for the first time for an England women’s international, with 90,000 fans set to watch England take on Germany in a friendly, and she hopes those attendances will begin to filter down into the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

“It’s fantastic news and we’d like those fans to come into the smaller grounds where they’re not filled to capacity.

“The players are very keen to play for the supporters that come out every week to watch them, and I can hear the crowd really encouraging them.

“When you see those people coming out to support you, it gives you that extra ten per cent, which is needed.

“We’ve sold over 500 season tickets and they’re very good numbers. The work of the marketing team is to make sure those fans come back, and we need to produce a good product on the pitch in return.”

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