Dani Bowman is hoping to play her part when Albion try to progress to the knockout stages of the Conti League Cup tonight.
The midfielder made her first appearance of the season on Sunday when she came on as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Bowman has been out since March with a foot injury which required an operation and lengthy spell of rehabilitation.
She may get more minutes under her belt in tonight’s final Group E fixture against West Ham at the Chigwell Construction Stadium (7.30pm). Albion need to better London City Lionesses result at home to Birmingham City to progress to the quarter-finals. Their hosts are already through.
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Bowman is also keen that her team put a poor performance against United behind them.
She said, “We were below par, especially the first-half performance, on Sunday. We expect a lot more of ourselves.
“We knew Man United would be tough, but we didn’t get going. We showed more fight in the second half but it’s just that bit of quality on the ball where we are letting ourselves down at the moment.
“We move on. We will be looking to bounce back against West Ham. They’ve got some good results under their belt but it’s a good opportunity for us against a side we’ve beaten in the league this season.”
Bowman admitted her long period recovering from injury has been tough.
“It’s been a long road. It’s been difficult not being involved and there have been moments when I doubted if I could get back to playing again, so it was brilliant to be out there on Sunday but it came with a bitter taste because we lost.
“The injury was more severe than I first thought. There were a few setbacks, so you doubt yourself but we have a great medical team and my teammates have been amazing, their support helped me a lot. It’s great to be back.”
Bowman accepts that she will have to work hard to get her place back with youngsters like Maisie Symonds, Libby Bance and Katie Robinson breaking through this season to add to the competition for places.
“The girls that have broken into the squad are fantastic, with potentially a long career in the WSL to come,” added Bowman. “It reflects the level we’re at now that we’re disappointed with results like Sunday, bearing in mind the squad we now have. We know we can do better.”