Brighton & Hove Albion women midfielder Kirsty Barton is refusing to underestimate Chichester when the two sides meet in a Premier League Cup tie at Culver Road today.
The Seagulls were defeated 3-0 by their local rivals in the Sussex Challenge Cup Final two seasons ago, before securing a 2-0 win themselves in last season’s county showpiece match.
She said, “Chichester are going to provide us with a really strong challenge. We’ve played them in the last couple of years in the County Cup and had two different results.
“They’ve always given us a hard game and a couple of years ago they beat us in the final.
“But it won’t make a difference on the day, as we treat every game in the same way.
“We want to win every game just as much as any other and it won’t affect our way of looking at the game.”
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The 23-year-old will be facing a number of familiar faces in the Chichester team, with former Seagulls Amy Found, Kerrie Ryan and Lauren Cheshire all now in the Green Army ranks.
“I don’t really think about playing against my friends because they’re our opponents.
“I won’t treat the game any differently just because there are a few players that I know. My focus is on helping us to get as far as possible in the competition.
“As a squad, we all want to win trophies. The league is important, but the cups are just as important to us.”
Barton says morale is high in the squad following back-to-back wins and feels the victory over Cardiff was a key turning point.
“We felt a bit deflated and under pressure because we know how important it is to win each week.
“But the team spirit when we went into the Cardiff match was brilliant. Everyone was up for the game and it felt like we were all in it together.
“The West Ham game saw us get another three important points and hopefully we can continue that form on Sunday.”