Lionesses kick start 2021 with a tough fixture against Crystal Palace at Princes Park. The two sides are level on points in the League and in their last fixture nothing could separate the two sides in the 1-1 draw.
Before the break for the festive period, the Lionesses were in good form winning 3 of their past 4 home fixtures. In the Lionesses' last fixture, they gained a creditable point in a strong display against Sheffield United.
When questioned how the Lionesses used the festive period to stay in touch and prepare the team for the second half of the season Head Coach Mel Phillips said "Over the holiday period we created some training packets for the players that were really holistic. It wasn't just strength, fitness, and technical ability, there was a mindset piece in it. There is a teammate player engagement piece in it like going on a 5K run on Christmas Eve together but making it a team competition. Or listening to an audiobook together, having some small group sessions out on the pitch."
"We just really wanted to stay connected and to continue to challenge ourselves and continue to build off the positive experiences that we developed throughout the first half of the season. I think all of that really helped prepare us and I felt when we came back into the environment that we hadn't skipped a beat. So, it's just important that we keep moving forward from here."
Speaking on the importance of momentum and continuing the positive performances, Phillips commented "What we've done over the break has definitely allowed us to keep our momentum and we've got a pretty elaborate plan for how we keep it, create it and get it back when we've lost it. Those are all through how we prepare, what our mindset is, and our unity as a team. All those things will be a focus for us each day this week as we prepare for Palace."
Sunday's fixture against Crystal Palace is a good opportunity for the Lionesses to show their strong progress and development this season if they can beat a side level with them in the table. Phillips explains "It's important for us that we go and put a good performance out again on Sunday. The players know what that looks like from an effort, attitude, preparation, and readiness standpoint."
"I think we've taken incredible pride in the ability to be tough to break down, to have put a couple of clean sheets together coming into the break. We can score goals against anybody in the league as well. All those things will play a factor into it and we know that Palace is going to be a tough match. Like us they've improved throughout the course of the season and everyone will be difficult on the day."
"It's about which team shows up and has the will to win that game. And I think our players have done a great job in continuing to stretch themselves, and ultimately will look to separate ourselves and continue climbing the table after the weekend".
You can watch the game live on the FAPlayer as well as follow the build-up to Sunday's 2pm kick off, along with live match updates via the London City Lionesses Twitter feed.