Gibbons: We're over the moon with result

Fliss Gibbons starred as Albion made it five wins from six games in the WSL.

By Luke Nicoli • 05 April 2021

By Kyle Hemsley
Fliss Gibbons made her first start of 2021 in the WSL.

Fliss Gibbons made a dream return action by playing a key role in yesterday's 1-0 victory against high-flying Manchester United.

With Danique Kerkdijk ruled out through suspension, left-back Gibbons came into the side for the first time since December, with Emma Koivisto switching flanks to her favoured right-back position.

She also filled in at centre-half for much the second half, following an injury to Victoria Williams, and performed admirably as the Seagulls recorded a famous victory.

“I just wanted to come back in and enjoy it, but ultimately do a good job for the girls and help get us the three points,” Gibbons said. “I haven't played since December but Emma has been absolutely brilliant since she came in and watching her gave me a chance to reflect on my own game and perhaps the things I haven’t done so well.


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Hope's Man United Reaction

“It was a bit of a whirlwind and also switching to centre-half was a different experience for me, but I felt okay and we have a team full of leaders who look out for each other.

“Sometimes you have to do some of the dirty, nitty-gritty stuff, and we dug in to get the result. But we always take a lot of pride in being very good defensively and we were delighted to keep a clean sheet.”

A solitary Inessa Kaagman penalty in the first half separated the sides and although United forced a number of corners in the second 45 minutes, they failed to carve out many clear-cut opportunities. Like the victory against leaders Chelsea, it was a performance in which the Seagulls excelled with their organisation, and the perfect response to last week's heavy defeat to Everton.

By Kyle Hemsley
Albion made it five wins from their last six games with the victory over Manchester United.

“The desire from start to finish, and to bounce back so well from the disappointing result last week, was just amazing,” Fliss added. “We know we didn't really show up against Everton – it was a performance that was completely below the standards that we have set.

“We knew we had the ability to play better and three points against what is a very good Manchester United team is the perfect response. Everyone played their part and we're over the moon with the three points.”

The victory is Albion’s seventh of the season, which keeps Powell's side cemented in sixth place, but the improvement hasn't come as a surprise to Gibbons, who is now in her fifth season – and second spell – with the club.

“It’s definitely the strongest squad we’ve had since I’ve been at Brighton – when you look at the strength in depth we’ve got and players on the bench who are probably unfortunate not to be in the team,” she states. “We had a conversation at the start of the season that we wanted to beat those teams in and around us, and when you look at this result and the Chelsea one, it’s no fluke that we’ve got three points from both games.

“Seven wins is brilliant and we’re looking up; we’re looking to get more points on the board and finish in our highest ever position in the WSL. But it’s important not get ahead of ourselves – we need to stay grounded as there’s a long way to go.”

By Kyle Hemsley
Albion made it five wins from their last six games with the victory over Manchester United.

There is a break from WSL action next Sunday with a trip to Bristol City in the FA Cup, and Gibbons is hoping the league form will carry over against the Robins.

“Everyone loves the FA Cup and it’s a chance to get another cup run going. Nobody knows how the competition is going to end up, whether it’s going to run over into next season, but we’ll just look at it as another game we want to win and keep the good form going.”