Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Aileen Whelan is confident the team can bounce back from a couple of disappointing results when they take on West Ham United in the FA Women’s Super League this afternoon.
Albion head into the match on the back of two successive 4-1 defeats, but the Seagulls showed positive signs in the last match against Arsenal and 27-year-old is confident that the team have the qualities needed to achieve better results.
She said, “One of the biggest qualities about our team is that we never give up and we back each other no matter what. We have a lot of fight, bounce-back ability and can reset ourselves weekly to focus on the next game ahead.
“We have a versatile squad and every player has a part to play when called upon. Each player gives their all and this will help get us the results we need.
“There is a big difference in the speed, physicality and quality from the top tier teams these days, and it’s something I’ve noticed has improved over the course of the past three seasons across the league.
This game has been designated as the club’s Rainbow Laces match, and kicks-off a busy couple of weeks for Hope Powell’s side, playing four matches across eleven days.
“Football is a very powerful game and by promoting the rainbow laces it can bring everyone together.
“As players we show our support to this charity by wearing the laces and showing that sport is non-judgmental and inclusive of people from all walks of life.”
“It is going to be a very intense week and we will have to manage our loads from game to game.
“We will have less contact time in pitch-based training due to the number of games, but we can then focus on analysis and game preparation.
“Recovery is going to be paramount over the course of the week and also rotation within the squad to manage the loading of the players.”
Whelan then took time to look ahead to the test this afternoon’s opponents will pose, who like Albion are playing their first FA WSL season.
“They have picked up 10 points so far so are placed higher in the league than us. They have won games and are showing that despite being their debut season in the top tier, they have a talented team that can produce results.
“We are aware of the teams around us in the league and the battle we are in. We are set on staying and proving our worth in the WSL, and West Ham are a team that we believe we can take points from.
“We need to be confident to attack and play possession football from minute one. We need to put in a good performance and the goals will come with that.”
Tickets will be available to purchase on the turnstiles at a price of £10 for adults and £4 for under-10s.