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Nikita Runnacles: 'The players' focus will now shift to Sunderland'

Nikita Runnacles, London City Lionesses (Image: thoughtsofawing)
Nikita Runnacles, London City Lionesses (Image: thoughtsofawing)

Shortly after the final whistle was blown at Brisbane Road, London City interim head coach Nikita Runnacles returned to the dugout to take questions from the media about the Lionesses' exit from the Vitality Women's FA Cup.

Runnacles pointed to positives in London City's performance, not least the hot start that saw Tottenham Hotspur concede three corners in quick succession and Sarah Ewens test Tinja-Riikka Korpela with a driven shot.

"The first half was really positive," Runnacles said after the 5-0 loss. "We had two or three opportunities in the first 10 minutes but we couldn't take them.

"Then they went down the other end, served an early ball into the box, and had a European Championship-winner there to score the header. It's hard to come back from that because of how well we started.

"I thought we got back into the game after the first goal, making it compact and difficult for them, and we couple of chances that could have shifted the momentum. But, again, they scored at a bad time, with just 30 seconds until half time, and that really hurt us going into the second."

The Lionesses return to action on Sunday 5 February, with a home match against Sunderland A.F.C.

After last week's postponed fixture versus Bristol City, it is vital that the Lionesses bounce back from FA Cup disappointment.

"It's what we're here for," Runnacles said when asked about the importance of next weekend's match against Sunderland. "As much as it would've been great to progress as far as we could in the FA Cup, our job is built around the league.

"We came here today, faced a Women's Super League side, and now the players' focus will shift to Sunderland."


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