Brighton & Hove Albion’s women’s first-team manager Hope Powell believes her side is slowly getting used to the levels required in the top flight, ahead of today’s FA Women’s Super League clash against Liverpool, kick-off 12.15pm.
Powell’s team face the Reds at Crawley in a live televised clash against the Reds on BT Sport and the Seagulls boss commented on how much her team have learned in the first two games of the season.
She said, “They’re [Liverpool] a good side, we know that and we’re going to have to be on our game. We’ve steadily improved on our performances since the beginning of the season, even though on Wednesday we lost to Birmingham.
“We will go into the game buoyed by what was a very good performance against Birmingham. We were pleased with the way we conducted ourselves against London Bees too, so hopefully we’ll get a good result on Sunday.
“All the girls would rather have the pressures of the WSL rather than the ones that come with playing in the Championship.
“As time comes, they will learn to manage it and deal with it better. That aligns itself with better performances. I’m very pleased and they’re doing very well. They’re working very hard and I can’t ask for more than that.”
The Albion manager explained how the squad has been tested with a number of injuries to key players, but praised the players that have stepped up in their absence.
“We’ve got some long-term issues with injuries, which has been very unfortunate at this stage of the season.
“The girls that are fit and healthy have equipped themselves well. It’s about being patient though, as it’s a long season and unfortunately injuries will happen.
“Emily Simpkins has seen a specialist about her injury, Sophie Harris fractured her wrist, and Jenna Legg is just back after being out for three weeks with concussion, so she’ll be phased in slowly.
“Marie Hourihan will be pushed on in the next week. We have a few injuries to cope with, but it’s the nature of the beast. We have to dust ourselves down and get on with it.”
The Seagulls boss also spoke about the prospect of playing live on television, and highlighted the importance of having a big crowd at Crawley.
“It’s fantastic and gives us an opportunity to showcase Brighton and what we’re all about; hopefully we’ll do enough to get a good result.
“It would be great to have as many fans there as possible. We really want to do well for the club, the fans and community. My experience is that players playing in front of an audience that want you to do well, gives you that bit more motivation to succeed. Please come along to support us.”