Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Emily Simpkins is happy that her injury problems are now behind her, and is eager to play a part in helping the team qualify for the knockout stages of the FA Continental Tyres Cup against Yeovil Town this evening.
Simpkins made her Albion debut in the competition back in August, but didn’t play again until last week’s group stage match against Crystal Palace due to injury, and the summer signing described her emotions of stepping back out on the pitch.
She said, “It was extremely frustrating for me to be injured. Because of the injury I had, there were no timescales on when I would be back playing again and in the end, it turned out to be long-term.
“For me over that period of time, it was all about managing what I was able to do, even practising more with my left foot. It was a long process but now I am a lot stronger for it.
“I was really happy to get back out on the pitch and playing. It was nice to finally pull on the blue and white striped shirt, having only played in the away kit in my previous match I played against Chelsea.
“I felt like it did my job and completed everything that was asked of me. I think it was quite overwhelming because I haven’t played for so long, I wasn’t as fluid with my play and looking back on the match now I was able to break forward from midfield and have a couple of chances on goal.
“I was buzzing and nothing beats game time and being back out on the pitch.”
Simpkins also spoke about the need to take the win to avoid relying on other results around the group and expected a tough battle from the opponents.
“It would mean a lot to us [to qualify] because we had a couple of tough results at the start of the group phase.
“As a team we always have good belief and positivity, so we knew that if we played our way we’d be able to come through it and be in the position we are now with one game to play.
“Once you get through to the knockout stage anything can happen, so we’ll be doing our best to make sure we qualify.
“It’s important that we focus on our own game, what we can do and what we can control. If we win and take the three points, everything else will take care of itself.
“Tonight, under the lights, the match will be a tough battle. In terms of our own performance, if we stick to our game plan and build on the positives from our past performances, especially the first hour we played against Chelsea and the goals we got against Crystal Palace, I’m confident that we can come away with a win.”