Beth: We’ve got to believe to achieve
RED-HOT Sunderland striker Beth Mead has told her team-mates to embrace, not fear, the biggest game of their careers when they meet Manchester City today.
Last season’s Women’s Super League 2 champions set themselves the target of simply retaining their place in the top-flight this term.
But an opening day win against back-to-back champions Liverpool has set the tone for an extraordinary campaign at the Hetton Centre.
One by one the Lady Black Cats have picked off the challengers before them and now, with three games to go, winning the league title is a realistic possibility.
Victory over star-studded Manchester City at the Academy Stadium will edge them closer to the silverware and Mead wants one last push from her team-mates.
“This is the biggest game of our season, and I think for a few of the girls this is probably the biggest game of their careers so far,” said Mead, who has struck 11 goals in 11 WSL 1 games this term.
“Man City have got a lot of momentum at the moment and have got a really good side. Their team is full of England players, great players all over the pitch, so we will need to watch them and make sure we are ready.
“We cannot afford to switch off for a second, our last three games are all cup finals for us. Each team at the top has to play each other and hopefully we can go out there and put a spanner in the works for the other sides.
“If you had asked me at the start of the season I would have bitten your hand off to be second and just safe from relegation. But now we have the belief and confidence that we are more than capable of beating these teams. We need to bring that attitude and belief into these final three games – and then we can win them and win that title.”
Elsewhere today, Notts County will be looking for revenge on WSL 1 leaders Chelsea, who beat them 1-0 in the Women’s FA Cup final.
The Blues remain on course for a clean sweep of domestic honours, having also reached the Continental Tyres Cup quarter-finals. But the Lady Pies are in fine fettle, having gone five games unbeaten in all competitions.
In the second tier, Yeovil Town have a mammoth journey north to Durham for today’s lunch-time kick-off.
Third-placed Yeovil went into the weekend eight points outside of the all-important top two and defeat in the north-east may well end their promotion charge. Ready to pounce on any slip-ups are fourthplaced Everton, who welcome Aston Villa to the Select Security Stadium. The Toffees are also some way short of Doncaster Rovers Belles and Reading, but with two games in hand on those clubs still to squeeze in, look perhaps bestplaced to gatecrash the party.
And though there may appear to be little more than pride at stake as Oxford United travel to Millwall, both are determined to continue to showcase their progress and beat last season’s respective ninth and eighth-place finishes.
LAST TIME: Sunderland were edged out 1-0 by Manchester City when they met in Women’s Super League 1 at the start of April INSIDE: EMMA FOLLIS BIG INTERVIEW
SEEKING REVENGE: Notts County’s Ellen White will be out to beat Chelsea