Hope Powell expects a game as tough as any this season when her side bid to reach the semi-finals of the Vitality FA Cup against Charlton Athletic tonight.
Charlton arrive at the People’s Pension Stadium with a full-time squad under an experienced manager in former Spurs’ boss Karen Hills.
But Powell is looking forward to trying to lead Albion to the last four for the first time in the club’s history.
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The fixture comes during a busy period of three games in six days. Albion lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on Sunday – their first WSL defeat of the season – and they head to champions Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime.
Powell will rotate her squad but says whoever is in the starting XI will relish the challenge.
“An FA Cup quarter-final at home – it’s a big incentive for us to get to the semis.
“We know Charlton will come here looking at pulling off an upset. They have an experienced manager and a lot of players who have played at this level.
“We know it will need a top performance from us because it will be as hard as any game we’ll have this season, but we’ll be ready and we’re looking forward to it.”
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The head coach says the busy schedule means that the minutes of the players need to be managed.
“We had quite a few players away with their countries in the last fortnight and one or two of them looked a little below their best against Villa on Sunday, which is understandable given the travelling and games they played,” she added.
“It’s a fantastic honour for them and the club to play for their countries but it can affect domestic performances. We’ve rested up since Sunday, reviewed the game and we’ll be ready.”