Powell hails a marked improvement

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Hope Powell hailed a marked improvement from her side in tonight’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United compared to the league encounter between the two sides earlier this season, and felt her players acquitted themselves well against Casey Stoney’s team.

By James Hilsum • 15 January 2020

By Kyle Hemsley
Hope Powell

Goals from Abbie McManus and Jane Ross ultimately proved to be the difference against an Albion side that found the target through Kayleigh Green, and Powell was proud of her team on the night.

She said, “I’m pretty pleased because when we played them in the league, we didn’t perform anywhere near the level we wanted to, and today we competed, battled and created chances.

“For the neutral, I thought it was a very entertaining game. Credit to them, we know they’re a good side and credit to us for putting in a display like that and giving it a good go.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but I’m happy with the performance.”

By Kyle Hemsley
Kayleigh Green stands over the penalty.

The Albion manager was left to rue a number of missed chances during the game, including Ini Umotong’s penalty, and Powell reiterated the need to be more ruthless in front of goal.

“We had to score the penalty, and Matilde [Lundorf] needed to keep it low in the first half. They’re all big lessons, and if you’re playing in the quarter-final of the Continental Cup or in the league, you don’t get a lot of chances.

“We’ve got to be more clinical in front of goal, especially if we're facing a team of Man United’s world-class ability.

“But the fact that we’ve created chances and scored a goal, is pleasing.”

By Kyle Hemsley
Amanda Nilden takes on Abbie McManus.

The Seagulls boss also commented on the game as a whole, and was pleased with the spectacle which both teams provided on the night.

“If you are the neutral then you would’ve enjoyed the game. I enjoyed it, I’m sure Casey [Stoney] did too, as well as all the fans that travelled to the game.

“It’s a great advert for women’s football and credit to Man United too. We wish them luck in the semis, and for us it’s about us taking this form from tonight and into the league.”