Brighton & Hove Albion women’s striker Fliss Gibbons says a good cup run can give the side added momentum, as the team prepare to face West Ham United in an FA Cup second round tie at Withdean on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
Gibbons is keen to continue the side’s highly-impressive recent form, after winning their last seven games in all competitions and she believes that a series of good results in the cup can only aid their league campaign.
She told seagulls.co.uk, “I don’t think anyone treats cup games any differently to those played in the league.
“We’ve just got to go out there and perform. In the league we’ll look to pick up the three points and the focus in the FA Cup is about getting through to the next round.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction but more of a bonus. If you get a good run in the cup it’s a confidence boost and that can help us out in the league campaign.”
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Gibbons was part of the Gillingham side that played Arsenal in a fifth round tie last season and she wants to replicate a similar experience with Albion this year.
The Seagulls will need to get past the Hammers first and the forward admits that the East Londoners will be a bit of an unknown quantity.
“Last year we were fortunate enough to draw Arsenal, but were also unfortunate as we ended up losing the game.
“Of course, it was a great experience to get that far last year and play a side who have won the competition many times. You get your rewards if we beat these teams; if we beat West Ham then we have an opportunity of playing a WSL team later in the competition and prove to people what we’re about and how we can perform.
“I don’t really know much about how West Ham play, but I’m sure the manager has done his research and it’s important we approach the game with a professional mind-set and give it everything we’ve got.”
Sunday’s match also sees a change of venue for the first team, with the game set to be played at Withdean Stadium rather than Culver Road, but Gibbons insists this should have little bearing on the side’s performance.
“The surroundings are not completely different as all of us have played there at some stage and it was the first team’s home ground last season.
“A number of us have also played there for the development squad, so there will be no excuses and we need to be ready to perform.”