This weekend London City Lionesses will be looking to seal their first win as they take on Lewes at Princes Park.
The trip to Durham was a real contest but also a defeat. Speaking at this week’s press conference, first team assistant coach Melissa Phillips shared her thoughts on the positives to take away and build on, “Yeah, you know we've learned so much about ourselves and with the Durham match, it really was a tale of two halves. I think we were unfortunate not to go into halftime nil nil, but I think what we're most pleased with, is how our players responded both after going down a goal and after the match.
“I think there was fantastic energy coming from the players on the bench, both on the side-line and when they entered the match, which was really noticed by everyone including the group that was on the field. And I think the response was unity, the response was we know where we're going. We know what to build upon. We know our strengths. We’ve just got to get back into a week of training and challenge ourselves to be as prepared as possible for the next one. So, I'm really pleased with how we responded and how we continue to respond as a group by sticking together.”
Midfielder Poppy Wilson added, “The next three weeks are really important to get as many points on board as we can, especially against Lewes on Sunday. Reflecting on Durham. We knew that they were going to be a physical team. We were prepared for that. All we can do is take the positives from the game. The mood in the camp has been really positive and yeah, we’re just putting the work in this week for Sunday.”
With no side haven taken full points from their opening games yet, the league’s competitiveness continues. Asked about what this means for the league and the Lionesses’ prospects, Phillips said, “It's going to be an incredibly strong league, as we've seen in our first three matches, every game is an incredible challenge for us. We're excited about that."
“I think it's a testament to the players and their commitment to their own development in the off-season but a testament to the clubs as well. I think every team in the league has done an incredible job preparing themselves for uncertain times and doing so seamlessly as we come back into competitions now, so it's going to be an exciting and challenging road ahead.”
The next step on that road is this Sunday’s test against Lewes. And what type of test does Phillips think it’s going to be?
“We don't underestimate any team. Lewes is an incredibly hard-working organised group, that will fight until the end of the match. They made it very difficult on their opening matches, to be scored upon, until late in the games. So, it's going to be a team effort, where we are going to have to bring our top competitive mentality and ability, to break them down. But ultimately the focus will be on us this week and how we achieve that.”
The Lionesses had hoped to welcome fans into the ground this weekend but sadly that’s not to be. The players still take heart though from the messages of support that come in on social media and know that they are there in spirit.
Asked for her thought Wilson commented, “Of course it's disappointing that our fans can’t come to the games yet, but the most important thing is that they are all safe and well."
"We see everything that goes on social media. So that's really important. We take that into games and we definitely notice the support that we get. So, keep that up!”
You can send your messages of support across the Lionesses social media channels and follow this Sunday’s action against Lewes on the Lionesses twitter account. The match kicks off at 2pm at Princes Park Stadium.