Wednesday 2 May 2018

POWELL REFLECTS ON HARD-FOUGHT VICTORY

Hope Powell admitted that her side put in a below-par display against Aston Villa, but was pleased to claim another three points at Culver Road.

First-half strikes from Kirsty Barton and Ini Umotong put Albion 2-0 up at the break, but Tash Baptiste pulled one back for Villa and ensured a tense end to the game for Powell’s team.

She said, “It was hard-fought and difficult. It was very challenging and credit must go to Aston Villa.

“They could’ve scored within the first minute, which really would’ve put us on the back foot and Lucy [Gillett] did really well with that one-v-one situation.

“We got to grips with the game, but made some basic silly errors and made it quite difficult for ourselves. At times we overplayed when we should’ve cleared the ball or played when we should’ve cleared it.

“It wasn’t the best day, but I think the most important thing was the three points.”

Powell felt the side didn’t get near the heights of last week’s performance and result against Doncaster Rovers Belles, but explained the games against the league’s bottom sides can often be the toughest.

“After last week’s performance and how well we did, this was always going to be a challenging game.

“I said to the players beforehand that these games you’re expecting to win are often the hardest to win.

“That was proved on Sunday, but I can’t fault the effort of the girls as they worked hard, it just wasn’t a good day in terms of football and how well we know we can play.”

Albion next face a double header against bottom club Watford before facing Durham and Millwall, and Powell stressed that the level of performance will need to improve in the coming weeks.

“It’s back to the drawing board and we go again. The performances have got to be better than that in the games we’ve got coming up.

“Watford will have pride to play for and will be battling to prove a point that they’re still capable of competing at this level, so we’ve got to be mindful of that and perform better than we did today.”

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