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Press Conference: Nikita Runnacles on Durham defeat, Charlton expectations & more

London City Lionesses return to Princes Park on Sunday [2 April] for the visit of Charlton Athletic in the Barclays Women's Championship.

The Lionesses were defeated by Durham in their last match, which places the squad under pressure to produce a 'response' against their South London rivals.

In her latest exchange with the media, interim head coach Nikita Runnacles discussed disappointment in Durham, expectations ahead of Charlton, and the state of the title race.

Interim Head Coach, Nikita Runnacles:

It was obviously a difficult result on Sunday – how has the team reacted on the training pitch this week?

Durham made it really difficult for us up there, their performance didn’t allow us to get into our flow. We started quite brightly in the first twenty minutes, but it just became really difficult for us. It’s a massive disappointment from the weekend and the team knows that a response is required this week. That’s exactly what the conversations we’ve had have been because we only have four games left now.

Knowing that you need to win every game to stay in the race, does that make your team talks easier?

We know the position we’re in and we know that these next four games are super important to keep the pressure on and keep believing. Until it’s numerically impossible, we’ll keep pushing. We’re fired up and ready to go for the weekend.

Are you looking forward to the London Debry with Charlton Athletic?

Who doesn’t love a local derby? They are literally just down the road and we had a great game against them earlier in the season. It seems so long ago now because it was so fresh in the campaign. We’re looking forward to having our fans in the building and getting that local derby underway.

What are you expecting from Charlton? They’ve been in really strong form recently.

They’ve picked up a lot of points, while also having it tough in terms of their schedule and the number of games they’ve had to play. We know what to expect from them: they play with their hearts on their sleeves and look to attack with speed and forward runs. They are a team who have picked up plenty of points recently and we want to be the team that puts a stop to that.

Does Charlton’s 1-0 win over Lewes on Wednesday [29 March] affect how you will prepare for the game?

As I said, they’ve been picking up points and they’re not an easy team to turn over. They have something about them that enables them to get points from really difficult games. We’re aware of that and understand the challenge that is ahead of us. Ultimately, we need to focus on ourselves and putting in the correct performance.

We need to focus on responding in the right way, which is the most important thing for players and staff at this Club. If we do that, we have the next three games to look forward to as we run into the end of the season.

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