Powell Positive Ahead Of Reading Encounter

Impetus’ Ellie Ramsauer was in Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Hope Powell‘s media conference and heard her positivity and pride in her squad going into tomorrow’s important game with Reading (24/9/22).

Above: Hope Powell talking to the media. Photo: Brighton & Hove Albion Women.

It was a tough start to the season for Brighton and Hove Albion as they lost 4-0 to a strong Arsenal team at Meadow Park. Their challenge was made harder as Emma Kullberg was sent off for Brighton after a trip on Stina Blackstenius outside the box.

However, Hope Powell, Brighton’s head coach, was keen to look at the positives of that game as she recognised the effort put in by the team despite the disadvantage, stating she was “proud of the players, the way they continued (and) ran”, and she appreciated that they “put a shift in”.

Another positive Powell took from the match was that they made it through the 90 minutes with no fresh injury concerns “which was the main thing.” Despite no new injuries, they remain without Rebekah Stott, who is still recovering after her ankle surgery several weeks ago, with Megan Connelly (broken ribs), Danielle Carter (illness), and Masie Symonds who is still recovering from glandular fever remaining on the sidelines.

The Seagulls’ head coach reflected on the impact of these injuries, particularly on the senior players who are key influencers in the squad and therefore a big miss during the time they are out. However, Powell remains positive after her side’s defeat to Arsenal and is happy with the spirit the squad showed despite going down to 10 players.     

The former Lionesses coach did, however, concede that it was “not an easy reset” for the team as they lose a player through suspension for the red card. This, on top of injuries, mean that the squad has had “quite a lot of work to do” and there is a need to “change things around” to accommodate this change. Despite this Powell maintains that the “players are very positive” and are “looking forward to the challenge on Sunday”.

Above: Brighton and Hove Albion players return to the Amex Stadium tomorrow – over 5,000 tickets have already been sold. Photo: Brighton & Hove Albion Women.

Brighton are looking ahead to Sunday’s fixture against Reading which will be the first women’s game played at the Amex Stadium since the Euros. Last summer’s international tournament, which brought in an influx of new fans to the women’s game, is likely to lead to an upsurge in the numbers attending, which will amplify the atmosphere and, in turn, give the team a boost. Powell reflects on this as she encourages fans to “come along and judge for themselves”, particularly those who may not have been fans of the women’s game before the Euros.

In terms of the opposition, Brighton’s head coach concedes that Reading “will be a tough game” despite their opening game of the season 4-0 defeat at Manchester United. Powell says she sees “the game as an opportunity”, but acknowledges that Kelly Chambers’ side will see it the same way. This is expected as both sides will be hungry to put points on the board after a disappointing opening day of the season.

Reading made a number of signings in the summer, which the Seagulls chief is wary of, believing it will make this a “close contest.” However, Brighton have also made a number of signings this summer who have impressed Powell since being introduced to the squad.

In particular, Elisabeth Terland has imposed herself since arriving from Norway as Powell shared that Terland was actually ‘disappointed she didn’t score’ against Arsenal. Brighton’s head coach also spoke of Terland’s “really good strike” of the ball and her ambition “to be a top striker for club and country”.

Brighton and Hove Albion host Reading at the Amex Stadium in the Barclays Women’s Super League at 2:00pm tomorrow local time.


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