Brighton & Hove Albion women’s manager James Marrs has encouraged his players to go out on the pitch and express themselves in the Premier League Cup second round tie at Derby County on Sunday.
The Albion manager has used the competition in the past to experiment with different systems and says there will be no pressure on the players going into the match.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “I’ve always used an experimental system in the League Cup, when we try different systems and put players in different areas.
“We still want to go as far as we can in all competitions and we want to win, but it’s not one of our priorities this season. It’s just a case of the girls going out there and expressing themselves really; there’s no pressure on them at all this weekend which I’m hoping will make us quite dangerous.
“There’s a really healthy competition for places and the players need to step up and take their chances now, especially now that we’ve got more players coming back from injury.
“It’s going to cause me more problems, which is a good headache to have, but the players need to step up by taking their opportunities and by working hard in training.”
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Marrs also believes that another overnight away trip will help to improve the team spirit within the squad and is expecting a physical test from the Rams, who play in the Premier League Northern Division.
“Sides from the northern division tend to be physical and well organised, so we’ll be expecting the same from Derby.
“I’ve done a bit of homework on them and found out as much as I possibly could so we are at least a little bit prepared for what they’ve got and we’ll have had a good week of training under our belts.”
Albion still have Lauren Davis (toe), Vicky Ashton-Jones (knee) and Danielle Carlton (knee) ruled out with long-term injuries, but Ashton-Jones is expected to resume competitive training in the next two to three weeks.