The London City Lionesses are in action once again on Sunday, as they get ready to face Watford at Vicarage Road.
Coming into the game, the Lionesses will be looking to bounce back, after a narrow 2-1 defeat away from home to Sheffield United.
Speaking on the result, manager Melissa Phillips had this to say:
“We’re definitely disappointed with the result and we all know it was far from our best,” said Phillips, “we put in a dominant display in the first half, and credit to the way they came out in the second half plus a formation change, it resulted in a pair of goals.
“There are things that we’ll learn from that that will help prepare us going forward, but we know it was far from our best and we're capable of much more, so we're focused on the remaining games and having a strong end to the season.”
For centre-back Carly Girasoli, facing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, was always going to be a challenging fixture.
“It was a tough game and I thought we were the better team for large parts of it, and we could have scored a few more goals,” said Girasoli
“But personally, I was happy to get on scoresheet and get another one with my head, and getting goals is defiantly something I’ve been working on in my game, so I’m glad it’s starting to pay off.”
Going forward, it’s clear that more competitive clashes, like Sunday’s await, but for Phillips, she’s well aware that that’s simply the nature of the Championship and the expectations have never changed.
“Our expectation is always to be top of the league and competing for as high a finish as we possibly can,” said Phillips.
“But I think when you drop a few points, you forget to recognize how far you’ve come and how difficult it is to manage to stay in that second spot throughout the season. We know there's a lot of opportunities left for us and, and we're definitely hungry to continue climbing.”
For the team to have come so far this season, the relationships between players have been so important, especially among the back-line.
“Playing and training with experienced defenders like Harley [Bennett] and Hayley [Nolan] has defiantly helped, and even though my playing style has remained the same since in came here, having them there to guide me has been great,” said Girasoli.
Up next, the Lionesses will be facing a very different test to the one they had on Sunday, when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road.
“We definitely learned some things about ourselves by playing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last weekend,” said Phillips, “playing on a different pitch size brings with it different areas that you have to manage.”
“Regardless of where Watford are sitting in the table, we won’t see them any differently, they'll be fighting for those next points just as much as we are.
“They put in some good performances recently, and they took Liverpool down to the wire a few weeks back,” said Phillips.
“So, we know they'll be competitive, and they'll be tough to play against, as we saw when they came to Princes Park, so we'll have to be at our best to get a result.”
For Girasoli and the rest of the squad, that 2-1 win over the Hornets back in October, was a game where the result was not the easiest to come by.
“They’re a tough team to play against,” said Girasoli, “and we can’t take any game lightly at the moment, and we know that, for them, playing at Vicarage Road is going to give them a real boost, but we’re also looking forward to playing there.”
The London City Lionesses kick off against Watford at 2 o’clock on Sunday the 20th of March! Book your tickets now and follow the Pride!