Brighton & Hove Albion defender Kirsty Barton believes the recent winter break will reinvigorate the team ahead of a busy start to the second half of the season.
Albion's women’s first-team last played on 12th December in a 4-1 FA Continental Tyres League Cup victory over Yeovil Town, a match that saw Hope Powell’s side qualify for the quarter-finals, but they are back in league action this afternoon away at Liverpool.
She said, “It was nice for all the girls to get some time off. It was needed after an intense first half of the season and for a lot of the players it’s the first full-time season we’ve played after being part-time last year.
“We’re ready to hit the next part of the season now, and it will be a big second half of the season for us.
“We know our next few league games coming up are ones where we need to come and get some points. We know the pressure is on us now but we see that as a good thing.”
Barton also took confidence from the two previous outings against Chelsea and Yeovil and explained how those performances will help the team this afternoon.
“We’re still building as a team and there are a lot of positives for us to take from the first half of the season, especially from our last couple of matches.
“In the Chelsea game, I know that we didn’t pick up any points but for the first 65 minutes, where we kept them at 0-0, we played some very good football and in the last match against Yeovil we also performed really well and came away with the 4-1 victory.
“We’ll now be looking to pick up points against Liverpool.”
The 26-year-old then assessed today’s opponents and highlighted their key strengths.
“We know what Liverpool are about having played them in the first half of the season. We know that they have a lot of quick players, especially their wingers.
“They are also a strong team, so we know that it will be a tough match. We’re also confident in our own abilities and, with the analysis work we’ve been doing ahead of the match, we believe that we can handle any threats they may pose.”