Powell: The fans can play a big part

Hope Powell believes the fans can play a big part in making The People’s Pension Stadium a fortress heading into Wednesday night's Barclays FA Women’s Super League match against Manchester United.

By James Hilsum • 11 February 2020

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

Albion were roared on by a crowd of just over 800 people in a 1-0 win over Everton nine days ago and Powell says that the supporters give her players added belief to get a result.

She said, “Our home form has been a lot better recently, and we have to thank the crowd for playing a massive part in that.

“When you’re playing at home, you want to entertain your support and their backig gives you that belief and extra impetus to try and win the game.

“A lot of factors go against you when you play away, such as the travel time and journey on the coach. Our home form is definitely better and we have to capitalise on that where we can.

“The steady increase in our supporter base has also helped. Against Everton we had just over 800 people there, and there weren’t too many opposition fans present.

“You can really hear them and the players all go and it's nice for the players to go and thank the crowd for coming by signing autographs at the end.

“We value the support and everyone that turns up both home and away. We really want to play for them and it gives you that extra bit of energy to do the very best you can.”


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Powell's Man Utd Press Conference

Powell assessed United’s strengths in more detail, and is encouraging her players to produce a similar performance to the 2-1 defeat in the Continental League Cup tie last month.

She added, “They’ve got a lot of pace in the team, and they can score goals. They’re well organised, have got a talented pool of players and the stand-out one is Lauren James.

“They seem to have gelled well together in a short space of time and that’s testament to [manager] Casey [Stoney] and the work she’s done.

“We recognise that we put in a really strong performance against them in the Continental Cup, and we have to try and replicate that. We’re playing quite well but we’ve got to find that level of consistency and convert those chances when we create them.

“We’re looking forward to it, but we’re under no illusions it will be a tough game.”


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Women's Highlights: Albion 1 Everton 0

The Albion manager also spoke about the long-term aim to lift the club into the middle section of the table, and has been pleased with the improvements her players have shown in recent months," she added.

“We’re not a million miles off, and the games are very tight. That is pleasing to know, because we have a lot of players that have come from smaller and grassroots clubs and have only been professionals for just over a year.

“Some would argue that West Ham and Man United are also new to the league, but a lot of their players have been professionals before they arrived at those clubs.

“This is very new to a lot of our players so in that respect they’ve done very well. I know the desire of the players is to keep looking ahead.”

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