Brighton & Hove Albion defender Fliss Gibbons is expecting a competitive match when Everton visit The People’s Pension Stadium in the FA Women’s Super League this afternoon.
Albion started 2019 with a win over Liverpool before losing out in the Continental Tyres League Cup match against Manchester City on Thursday, but Gibbons insists the team will now dwell on that result.
She said, “The win against Liverpool was massively important. That was a game coming out of the Christmas break that we all said was a must win, and it shows that from the first to the 90th minute that we really wanted it and the desire was there.
“We needed to start 2019 right and that result was certainly a step in the right direction for us.
"We’ve always said that staying in the league for us was our priority. It was a quarter-final of a cup and there was no doubt that we went in there wanting to win.
“But now, there is no reason for us to dwell on that result. Manchester City are a world class team full of internationals and they were better than us.
“I think that 7-1 was perhaps an unfair result and they scored a lot of their goals towards the end of the match, but they deserved to progress. We’ll reflect on that and go into the Everton match looking to put things right.”
Despite being a left-back, Gibbons has found herself in positions higher up the pitch, including scoring a goal against Crystal Palace and this is something she says manager Hope Powell has asked her to do.
“Hope has spoken to me about being braver when I’m higher up the pitch. I used to play a more attacking role, so it is something that comes naturally to me.
“It’s definitely something that I’ve wanted to add to my game playing at left-back, taking the confidence from the match we won.
“For me, winning breeds confidence, and now we’ve established ourselves in this league, we need to be less nervous. We’re starting to pick up points now, so more bravery and confidence is needed from us in our attacking play.”
UMOTONG TARGETS HUGE THREE POINTS
Ini Umotong admits that a win over Everton on Sunday could take some of the pressure off in their fight to stay in the WSL. Victory would put the Seagulls five points above the tenth-placed Toffees and potentially seven points clear of bottom side Yeovil depending on their result against out-of-form Liverpool.
The 24-year-old then looked ahead to today’s match, and she expects a big fight for the three points.
“We know they are a very good team from when we played them before. They have a different manager now so they might set up differently, but we do our homework like we do for every match.
“We know that they are a team with very good individual players, and they’ll be fighting for the points like us as they are down towards the end of the table.
“I think it will be a very good, competitive game of two teams that like to play football, but hopefully we can come out on top.”
Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate at The People’s Pension Stadium at the turnstiles. There are priced at £10 for adults and £4 for under-10s.