Brighton & Hove Albion women striker Fliss Gibbons is relishing the prospect of taking on West Ham United for a third time this season today, as they maintain their challenge for the Premier League Southern Division title.
Albion have enjoyed 6-2 and 3-0 victories over Julian Dicks’s side in the FA Cup and league respectively, but Gibbons is refusing to underestimate the Hammers.
She told seagulls.co.uk, “Everyone knows it’s going to be a really tough game; we have played them twice already and they made it very difficult for us on both occasions, so we’re expecting more of the same on Sunday.
“They’re a very good team, have very good individual players and perform well together. They’ve made huge improvements recently and we know that it’s going to be a massive test for us. It’s one we’re looking forward to, as we're still fighting for top spot.
“Nothing is going to be easy for us, so as long as we apply what we’ve been doing in training and get our aims and targets out, then that will be the main priority. We then hope that a good result will follow alongside that.
“They’ve [West Ham] got nothing to lose so they’ll be fighting tooth and nail for everything. Everyone wants to beat the top teams and even though they’re not at the top, they’ve really come on this season and are finishing it strongly.”
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Gibbons was named Albion's Women’s Player of The Season at the Players' Awards Dinner last Monday night and she admits it came as a total shock to her.
“It was a really big surprise and I wasn’t expecting it at all. Some of the girls that had done the interviews already knew and kept it hidden from me. I had no idea whatsoever.
“It was a massive honour for me to accept the award. It was nice to be recognised by James [Marrs], the girls and the coaching staff, which I really appreciated. The occasion was really good as well and it was great for the team to get some recogntion."