Brighton & Hove Albion boss Hope Powell is feeling upbeat about her side’s start to the season as The Seagulls prepare for their trip to high-flying Everton this weekend.
Albion have lost back-to-back matches against tough opposition in Manchester United and Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League while they have also been defeated on penalty kicks in both domestic cup competitions.
Speaking in an official club press conference this week, in which FA Women’s Super League Full-Time were present, Powell said that there were plenty of positives to take from her side’s recent performances.
“Even though we were beaten by two very good sides in Manchester United and Arsenal, I’ve been really pleased with the way that we have presented ourselves, the way that we have tried to play football” said Powell. “We’ve tried to play higher up and I think we’ve done that, we haven’t sat back and tried to keep the scoreline down.
“I’ve been really quite pleased. Obviously, we are all disappointed with losing but the way we are trying to play and the way that the girls are making an effort to play the way we have asked them to play, I have been really pleased.”
The fixture calendar gets no easier for Albion with a trip to an Everton side who have won four out of four in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday. Powell is well-aware of the quality in the home side’s ranks and is expecting another big test.
She added “They have brought in some very good players and they are doing really well, they’re full of confidence.
“It will be interesting to see what happens when they play the bigger teams, they will probably argue themselves that will be the real test.
“They’re flying at the moment, we recognise that and know that we will have to be at our best to get something out of the game.
With Albion looking to cause something of a shock at Everton on Sunday, similar to what they achieved at Manchester City earlier in the season, manager Powell highlighted some areas which her side have been working on in training this week.
“I think its about doing the basics well” added the Albion boss. “Defensively being hard to beat and offensively perhaps being more clinical in-front of goal.
“In this league, the chances are few and far between, especially when you are playing against the so called top four.
“You’ve got to be a little more clinical in-front of goal and also play smart, possess the ball better rather than unforced errors, giving the ball away cheaply some times.
“It’s fine-tuning everything, we’ve done a bit of defensive shape today to give them a little bit of information and gentle reminders. Sometimes you need those gentle reminders and a bit of encouragement just to do the basics well.”
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture at Everton kicks-off at 1pm on Sunday afternoon with all of the action available to stream on the FA Player.