It was United’s most recent result following the postponement of Sunday’s league match at Liverpool, and the Albion manager warned her players that the Red Devils will be eager to make amends after that surprise result when they meet at Leigh Sports Village (7.30pm).
She said, “They are a team that wants to win the league and go into the Champions League. Their brand demands it, and the players they’ve signed demands it.
"(Head Coach) Casey (Stoney) wants it too. Why wouldn’t she? She’s got a really good platform to start from and the brand will attract world-class players.
“With that in mind, she wouldn’t have taken too kindly to that loss against Bristol and I’m sure they come back stronger as a result.”
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Powell reiterated that the competition will allow her to rotate the squad but stressed that the players can approach the game with a sense of freedom as everyone will be expecting United to emerge victorious.
“Everybody was expecting Manchester United to beat Bristol, but Bristol went up there and had a good go. Nobody would have expected that result. We recognise who we’re playing against but we will still go out and try to win.
“The priority for us is the league, but we want to do well and stay in the competition. It gives us a chance to look at players, experiment and gives ourselves an opportunity to play against a very good side. It will be another game of learning.”
The Seagulls boss was also asked about the importance of bringing young players through the system, and spoke about the decision to award Maya Le Tissier a two-year contract once she turns 18 in April.
“For us it’s hugely important, because we are a smaller club in terms of our brand. We haven’t got the biggest name to attract the best players, even though we have the best facilities," she added.
“Home-grown talent is very important to us. Maya knows the environment, she knows what to expect from the multi-disciplinary team we have and she enjoys the coaching.
“She feels at home here and when we said we’d like to sign her she said, ‘I love this club’. That’s testament to the work that everyone has put into Maya, and as well as herself.
“For me, I’ve always been about developing players and home-grown talent. It’s a big coup for us and young players can see if you come to a club like Brighton you’re likely to get a chance if you’re talented and prepared to work hard.
“This is what Maya has done and there are no shortcuts to success. I’m very pleased and proud of what she’s achieved.”