Fresh from their remarkable comeback victory over Watford Women, London City are back in action at Princes Park tonight, as they take on West Ham United Women in the first round of the Continental Cup.
Sunday’s performance will certainly have given the Lionesses a spring in their step, as the team stuck together after going one nil down to come away with all three points, thanks to goals from game changers Brooke Nunn and Anne Rossiter.
Yet despite coming from behind to get the win, was there any aspect of the performance that perhaps disappointed manager Melissa Philips?
“If we're disappointed by anything, it's that we know we're capable of more,” said Phillips, “whether it's finishing the chances that we had in the first half and being a bit more clinical or playing with the sense of urgency that we did after going down a goal.
“But of course, we look at it and it's still three points, still a win. There's plenty of things to celebrate within our style of play. There are some really good things coming off that are getting us quality opportunities. So, it's just about that competitive edge.”
Yet with the clash against Watford still so fresh in their minds, what lessons from the performance has Phillips taken away?
“It's all about belief,” said Phillips, “we talked about that after the match, we have to believe in ourselves and back ourselves the way that we do when we go a goal down.
“We want to compete against WSL sides, and we competed against West Ham in pre-season. So, I think we are all ready and looking forward to the opportunity to stretch ourselves.”
Such a strong sense of self-belief will be essential if the Lionesses are going to compete with WSL regulars like West Ham, Brighton, and Birmingham City in the Conti Cup group stage. But for Phillips, such challenges do little to faze her or her squad.
“We’ve played two of our Conti Cup teams within our preseason and they were competitive games. We want to challenge ourselves against some of the top WSL teams and challenge ourselves to get to that level because ultimately that is our aspiration.”
Whilst that aspiration for promotion is clear for all to see, is it a goal that is greater than having a successful cup run?
“I think, when you look at our team, being as competitive as they are,” remarked Phillips, “they're going to want to win every game.
“So, we want to put in a performance that allows us to continue building belief in our identity and who we are and take that into the next match.
“We hope to have a lot of fans out for the Wednesday night game, we think it’ll be a great atmosphere at Princes Park. We’ll just focus on ourselves to put in a good performance and continue to stretch ourselves towards our ambition.”
London City Lionesses take on West Ham United Women at 19:00 at Princes Park on Wednesday the 13th of October. Click here to get your tickets now!