Albion women's defender looks ahead to today's big game.
Brighton & Hove Albion women defender Deanna Cooper is refusing to get carried away with thoughts of the title going into Sunday’s crucial match against Portsmouth at Culver Road.
Albion are now two wins away from claiming the league title and a spot in the end-of-season Premier League Championship Play-Off match, but Cooper insists that focusing too much on the long-term goal could have a negative effect.
She said, “It’s a big game for us and there’s a lot riding on it.
“We’ve played them twice in the league and cup already and their team has changed a bit since then.
“We know they’re a very physical and competitive side, so we have to make sure we bring that side of the game as well as our natural game.
“It’s everywhere at the moment that if we win our last two games we win the league, but a lot of us are learning from last year because we were in a similar position then too.
“We need to focus on what we do rather than worry about what’s going on around us and our position in the league.
“If we don’t take each game as it comes, then it’s going to make us really nervous and will affect the way we perform.”
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Albion go into the game following a 6-1 win over Basildon last week and Cooper was delighted to net a brace in the emphatic victory.
“It showed a lot about us that we’re able to perform under pressure.
“Before the game, we knew we had to win our last three games to win the league, so to go out and perform the way we did last week was really good.
"We got a lot of stuff out that we didn’t get out in previous weeks.
“We got back to basics last week and played the football that we like to play and enjoyed it too even though we were under pressure.
“I was quite pleased with the two goals as I hadn't got on the scoresheet since the Forest Green game.
“As a centre-half, it’s nice to get on the scoresheet now and again. To get two goals and both on my left foot is not bad!"
The game takes place at the Sussex County FA HQ, Culver Road, Lancing, BN15 9AX and is the last chance to see Albion women at home this season.
Entry to the game is just £3 for adults, £1 for under-16s and FREE for Brighton & Hove Albion season-ticket holders.