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POWELL REFLECTS ON SHOOTOUT DEFEAT

26 August 2018

Geoff Penn
Hope Powell

Hope Powell was disappointed with her side's first-half performance, but was pleased that her team came back to force a penalty shootout in their Continental Tyres Cup encounter with Tottenham Hotspur.

Albion's sluggish start didn’t go unnoticed by Powell, but she was keen so stress that Spurs should be commended for making it difficult for her side.

She said, "I don’t think we started very well. Credit to Tottenham, they were very quick off the blocks and put us on the back foot.

“They definitely had the better of the first-half and deserved their 2-0 lead.

“Credit to our players for their second-half performance, they really got to grips with the game and did well to come back into it. I was pleased that we got back to 2-2 and didn’t lose the game in the 90 minutes.”

“The penalties then went right to the wire and could have gone either way. So the first-half was disappointing, but in the second we started to look a little bit more like a Women’s Super League side.

It was a difficult afternoon in Hertfordshire with rain falling for most of the match, but Powell was quick to dismiss suggestions that this had a negative effect on the team, and explained how Albion’s status as a Women’s Super League club made them a bigger target for the teams in lower divisions.

“The conditions were the same for both teams.

“I think one of the factors was that we are now a WSL side and any teams we play in the Women’s Championship will want to try to prove a point.

“We have to prepare in the same manner as if we are playing the best side in the top tier and I’m not sure we fulfilled that in the first-half, but as I said, we improved in the second-half.”

The manager made six changes from last week’s encounter against Chelsea and looked at the positives of more  players getting competitive minutes in their legs.

“We made a lot of changes for this game, it’s about playing time in this competition and whilst we lost on penalties, I’m pleased that everyone has had the chance to have a run out.

“It’s an important thing to do because when the season starts we need everyone fit and at the races, so it was good we could get them minutes in this competition.”

The team are now looking ahead to their first league match of the season at home to Bristol City  on Sunday 9th September, and Powell believes they are now equipped to take on the top tier sides.

“I’m excited for it to start in a couple of weeks, and that’s when the season really gets going.

“That’s when the results count and everything really matters. We absolutely have to be on it and mentally prepared for the matches ahead.”


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