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Every word Nikita Runnacles & Lucy Fitzgerald said on Blackburn Rovers trip

London City Lionesses interim head coach Nikita Runnacles and wing-back Lucy Fitzgerald spoke with reporters about a range of topics on Thursday [13 April]. Here is every word they said about our trip to Blackburn Rovers, the title race, and more.

Lucy Fitzgerald, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)
Lucy Fitzgerald, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)

Nikita Runnacles:

It was obviously a tough result for you to take last week – was it just a case of it not being your day?

I think you’ve summed it up pretty well there. It’s really disappointing not to come away with a result after taking 21 shots – it’s really tough to take. We’ve spoken about the positive side of it, we created chances and that should give us confidence, but it was really disappointing to lose.

However, it does breed confidence in terms of how well we played in possession, how we created chances, and how we defended. We just need to take our chances next week.

Is the title race still on?

It’s not over until the points say that it is. We’re in a position where anything can happen – which is normal in football. It’s been out of our hands for a while now, so we just need to focus on taking our chances and making sure we take care of what we can control.

What are you expecting from Blackburn Rovers on Sunday?

Blackburn tend to accept that they’re not likely to have much of the ball against us and drop into a defensive shape that makes it difficult for us to break them down. It’s a question that we have to answer in terms of our movement, creativity, and patience on the ball. We expect our possession stats to be really high, but it’s about making sure we move the ball quickly.

How is the mood in the dressing room at the moment?

The initial reaction [to the loss] was always going to be disappointment – we expected that to be the case because we’ve been working so hard towards a goal. But we’ve refocused and taken accountability for the areas we need to do better. We’ve taken responsibility for the result – in terms of the players and staff – and now it’s all about Blackburn.

It’s a long trip to face a difficult team to play against. However, it’s the kind of place you need to take points from if you want to compete at the top of this league.

Finally, just an update on Sarah Ewens and Lily Agg – who picked up injuries around the international break?

Lily continues to progress on her rehab, following a knock in training. Sarah is closing in towards the end of her rehab programme after picking up an injury on international duty. Both are progressing very well.

Lucy Fitzgerald:

What’s the feeling in the amongst the players in the dressing room at the minute?

We’re still in it mathematically, so we need to make sure we secure wins in the next two matches. We have to rely on other results, but we can only control what is in our hands. There is still a lot of fight in the dressing room, so we’ll do everything to take the points this weekend.

Is there now less pressure on you, with Bristol City and Birmingham City now the top two?

People probably don’t give us much of a chance because we have to rely on other results. But we’ve always focused on ourselves and what we need to do earn victories. There is still belief in the dressing room, no matter what is said or thought in the outside world, that we can make an impact in these finals games.

What do you expect from Blackburn Rovers?

They’re a really tough team to play against and make it a hard match whenever we face them. They’re solid in their midblock and we know that they are dangerous on the counter, so we have to be prepared to defend. We also have to be confident in the final third and take the chances that we make. We have the ability to finish the chances we create and I believe we have the confidence to come out on top.

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