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London City Lionesses face Charlton Athletic in last London derby of the year

Fresh off the back of the remarkable win over Brighton in the Continental Cup, the London City Lionesses are back in action on Sunday, as they travel just a few miles down the road to take on Charlton Athletic.

For London City, the momentum continues to be on their side, following Wednesday’s impressive victory.

“We look at it like we do any other game,” remarked manager Melissa Philips, “it was an opportunity to stretch ourselves and learn a lot about ourselves and fortunately we were able to put in a performance that was deserving of the result.

“We'll take the momentum and the belief that we've built and carry that into the next match, because we know that the match against Charlton will require an equal level, if not a higher performance, to be able to get the result.”

Yet playing three games in the space of seven days has seen some rotation to the first 11, with Annie Rossiter coming into the starting line-up against Brighton to great effect, and Hannah Short, Lilly Pursey and Grace Nevile, all making a strong impact off the bench.

“We know we have such depth in our squad,” said Phillips, “the result on a match day is a product of all 24 players and the work that goes in each week. Every new week is an opportunity for different people to step up.”

“That’s the process behind our training throughout the week, which really pushes on the team to grow each day. So that's ultimately what the result comes from.”

Such depth was always going to be a crucial asset going into such a demanding week, where the balance between recovery and training is of the utmost importance.

“It's always such a delicate balance with a three-match-week, but I think the girls have done an exceptional job, taking care of their bodies and their mindset,” said Phillips.

“We've all made personal commitments as a team and staff over to really put our full focus in this stretch of five games across the month, and we're seeing the rewards of that.

“There’s one more to go and we know it'll be a tough task going on the road to Charlton. They're an incredibly tough team to face. So, we'll have our work cut out for us, but everyone's excited and ready for the opportunity.”

Indeed, Phillips isn’t wrong, Charlton will be far from an easy game, despite the fact that they’re winless in their last four matches in the Championship.

“It'll be an absolute battle,” remarked Phillips, “they've got a similar style in different ways, and they've too had a massive recruitment push, have gone full time, really invested in the club, which is great to see for the direction that the women's game is going.

“It’s always a tight game between us and we are expecting the same for Sunday.”

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