Sunderland Women’s assistant Head Coach Steph Libbey offered her assessment of recent results and previewed this weekend’s clash against Charlton on the road.
The Lasses have taken four points from the last two games, beating Coventry United 3-0 and drawing 1-1 against Sheffield – with both games at Eppleton – and Libbey broke down both games heading into Sunday.
“Going into those two games, we were really confident.
“Against Coventry, we’ve kept a clean sheet which was a massive positive, we’ve scored three really good goals, and we put a good performance in for the majority of the game. They had little spells but we were in control and created a lot of chances which was really good.
“The Sheffield game was a different side of us.
“We had to dig in a little bit more and didn’t have as much joy as what we did the week before but the players stuck to the task.
“Claudia got Player of the Week which showed the performance she put in in the moments that we needed her.
“Ultimately we found a way to then get back in the game and we’ve had another couple of chances after that and we could potentially do better.
“We’ve looked at both games, digressed them and picked out the bits we want to improve on and that’s what we’re going to head to Charlton to hopefully go and do.”
Charlton occupy third place in the league, with two wins and two draws in their last four games, with the Sunderland coach offering her assessment of Sunday’s opponents.
“They’re a full-time team, that has a challenge for us in itself, but they’ve had an extra game this week [a 1-1 draw against Blackburn] which they’ll then have to recover from.
“They’ve had a steady run, I know they’re at the top half of the table, they’re quite an experienced team with some of the players that they’ve brought in over the past couple of years.
“Hillsy [Karen Hills] and Riteesh [Mishra] will have them very organised and they’ve got a threat. Hopefully we can try and minimise those threats and find ways ourselves to execute our strengths.”
Previous encounters between the two sides have often been close affairs. Last season, the Lasses won 1-0 away from home and 2-0 at Eppleton, but the reverse fixture this season saw the Addicks take the spoils home following a 3-2 win, with Libbey expecting another close game but hoping for a positive result and performance.
“I think you have to in this league. Anyone can win on any given day in the Championship, it’s one of those where it’s who turns up, who wants it the most, who executes their plan to a tee or who has moments of brilliance.
“Hopefully that can all come together for us this week.
“The girls have worked really hard in training and done everything we’ve asked of them, and we’ll go there in good spirits.”