London City Lionesses head coach Melissa Phillips says that her side have learnt lessons from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Pride took the lead in that game only for Sheffield United to fight back and score two second half goals to claim the three points.
This weekend sees London City Lionesses play at another men’s stadium when they face Watford at Vicarage Road. Speaking to FAWSL Full-Time ahead of that match, Phillips said that the experiences at Bramall Lane have taught her side lessons ahead of the trip to Watford.
“We definitely learnt some things about ourselves by playing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and about the pitch size and the areas that you have to manage,” Phillips said. “That game prepared us with a lot of lessons that can be taken into the next match and we won’t look at Watford lightly regardless of where they sit in the Championship table.
“They’ll be fighting for points as much as we are and they have had the ability to put the ball in the back of the net against teams. You look at their game against Bristol at the weekend, they took Liverpool down to the wire until a last minute winner so we know that they are competitive and tough to play against. They gave us a tough match at Princes Park so we will have to bring our best on the day.”
While playing on a quality pitch like the one at Vicarage Road should be a benefit for a footballing side like London City Lionesses, Phillips went on to say that there are also other factors to balance.
She said “We looked at the Sheffield United match like that (a benefit to play on a quality pitch), very much so. There are also different elements that you have to manage when you play against transitional teams and with the pitch size.
“We will need to be very smart in possession and very calculated with the risks that we take and where as well as the opportunities that we are creating because there are different things to manage like the pitch size. Of course, a team like ourselves who play the ball on the ground often, moving into wide areas, I think it is fantastic to play on a pitch of that quality. I think it is a real testament to the women’s teams, it’s proof that the game is growing.”
London City Lionesses’ FA Women’s Championship fixture at Watford kicks-off at 2pm on Sunday.