Hope Powell manager of Brighton and Hove Women Brighton and Hove Albion Women vs Birmingham City Women, WSL football match, Amex Stadium, Brighton, UK - 17 Nov 2019 Photo: Sean Ryan for The FA

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Powell expecting a difficult challenge against West Ham United

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Hope Powell is expecting to see her side come up against a West Ham United team who are fighting for their lives at The People’s Pension Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Seagulls recorded a shock victory over a Chelsea side who were previously unbeaten in 33 league matches on Sunday and while Albion will face a very different challenge from West Ham United in their latest match, manager Powell is expecting a real battle.

Speaking in Albion’s pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, she said “We really know that it is going to be tough.

“We’ve been in that position, you almost feel like you are fighting for your lives, you are fighting to stay in the WSL.

“We are still fighting to stay in this league, we want to stay in this league, they will be no different.

“They have got quality players, we recognise that they have lost a few, we have lost a few through injury or health so we are both quite light.

“We recognise that it is going to be a difficult prospect. We take confidence from last week but we cannot think for one minute that because we beat Chelsea, it is a forgone conclusion.”

Both sides were in action at the weekend with West Ham United battling to a 1-1 home draw with bottom club Bristol City in tough conditions at The Chigwell Construction Stadium. With Albion meeting The Hammers just four days on, manager Powell knows the mental and physical strain that will be placed upon the players.

She added “It will be a hard contest, it will be a dogfight, both teams wanting the points and not wanting to lose.

“At the moment, we are in a better position that they are and for them, they’ve got to get points on the board, as we do, so it is going to be a hard contest.

“Both teams played at the weekend which is very draining so physically and mentally, it is going to be a hard game for both sides.”

The UK has been hit by snow and ice this week and with temperatures in Crawley set to dip to minus seven tomorrow night, it is far from certain that the game will go ahead.

“It’s terrible, it’s freezing cold” said Powell. “We went out this morning and weren’t able to train on grass, we had to train on rubber crumb which isn’t ideal preparation.

“We prepare as though we are going to play but we appreciate that it could be called off at any time.

“We are preparing as if we are going to play the game.”

Brighton & Hove Albion’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against West Ham United is scheduled to kick-off at 7pm on Wednesday evening and will be available for fans to stream live on the FA Player.

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