Brighton & Hove Albion women defender Vicky Ashton-Jones is wary of the threat which Coventry United will pose today and believes the match could be crucial in determining who wins the league.
James Marrs’s side turn their attention to the league following back-to-back cup games and the centre-back admits it will be a good feeling to return to Culver Road.
She told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s nice to come back home because it’s been a bit of a while now, so to be at Lancing playing on our home turf will make a bit of a difference.
“It will be a big game against Coventry and it’s important that we start in a positive way.
“A friend of mine is the coach for their development squad. I do know a bit about them and I’ve been trying to find a bit of inside gossip, but she’s been keeping the information close to her chest!
“Now that we’re a couple of months into the season, it will be interesting to see where they are as a group and as a team.
“Their good start will give them confidence considering they have got a brand new set up. Four wins out of five will stand them in a good stead and it’s going to be a very competitive game against a fellow title challenger.
“It’s going to be crucial to get those three points today because it could make a difference come the end of the season.”
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Ashton-Jones explained the reasons behind Albion’s highly-impressive start to the season, with the side still unbeaten after ten games in all competitions.
“We are a very tight-knit group, but this season we’re working for each other even more.
“If someone is struggling on the pitch, then they’ve got the support network around them to back them up.
“I know that if I make a mistake, then nine times out of ten Deanna [Cooper] will be there to pick up the pieces. There’s that reassurance that we will work hard for each other.
“The crux of it is that we want to win for each other. That sort of mentality and togetherness goes a long way.”
The defender highlighted that another factor in Albion’s blistering start has been their fine defensive form, after seven clean sheets in ten games so far.
“We have a bit more continuity in the defence now.
“We have all got to know a certain system and have bedded in a solid back three or back four players in each game.
“It makes our lives easier because we know what our jobs are and we just seem to be much more solid as a team.
“We’ve done outstandingly well with the number of clean sheets we’ve kept. We were disappointed to concede on Sunday, but our record is still phenomenal.
“You have to give credit to Jay [Blackie] and Kirsty [Barton] playing in front of us as well, but as a team we are a much better defensive unit now.”
Sunday's game kicks off at 2pm at Culver Road. Entry on the gate is priced at £3 for adults and £1 for under-16s and OAPs.
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