Star Williams targeting league glory.
Sunderland’s ladies will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive cup defeats as they return to FA Women’s Premier League action with a trip to Charlton this weekend.
Mick Mulhern’s side lost out to Super League giants Liverpool in the FA Cup and they were heavily beaten 4-1 in last weekend’s Premier League Cup semi-final with Leeds.
We have to pick ourselves up in the league now and not lose in the games we have left
- Sophie Williams
However, Sunderland midfielder Sophie Williams feels the Lady Black Cats will benefit from their recent tough opposition as they look to secure the league title.
“It’s been different for us losing, but we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and our team,” Williams said.
“We have to pick ourselves up in the league now and not lose in the games we have left.
“[The narrow defeat against Liverpool] shows how close we are to the Super League as they’ve lots of internationals.
“But we proved that if you want it then ability isn’t the only deciding factor on the day.”
The Addicks trail Sunderland by 15 points having played a game more and when the two teams met back in November, the Wearsiders were 4-1 winners at the Hetton Centre, with goals from Beth Mead, Natalie Gutteridge, Keira Ramshaw and Williams getting herself on the scoresheet.
However the England U23 international says the long trip south will challenge her side.
“Charlton will be a difficult game for us with the effects of travelling away and staying away it can be difficult.
“I think league standings play little part when you are travelling away from home.
Top-scorer Beth Mead returns for Mulhern’s side after being called up by England U19’s whilst Rachel Furness and Natalie Gutteridge are both missing through injury.
And Williams says the return of 25-goal striker Mead is huge boost to the Lady Black Cats.
“It’s a squad game and we have to pull through and be better but it’s obviously a huge plus for Beth to return.
“She’s a goalscorer and a willing runner who always gives her all.”
Sunday’s game takes place at Sporting Club Thamesmead, kicking off at 2pm. Up-to-date live goal updates will be available from the official Sunderland Women's Twitter -@SunderlandWFC.