Ahead of today’s trip to Manchester United, Impetus’ Ellie Ramsauer was in Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Hope Powell‘s media conference (16/10/22).
Above: Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Hope Powell speaking to the media. Photo: Brighton and Hove Albion Women (16/10/22).
We know what we’re up against but we’ve got fighting spirit.”Hope Powell, Brighton and Hove Albion head coach.
Brighton and Hove Albion travel to Manchester United today for their first league game of the month. Being played at Leigh Sports Village, this game will be a tough test for the Albion.
Head coach Hope Powell reflected on the impact the international break has had on her squad. “It’s been really challenging 10 days, they have been away in terms of wanting to qualify for a major tournament”. The challenges of this have included having to support the pressures and emotions of her players that come with it. Some players have come back elated and while others are struggling as their team did not qualify for the World Cup.
The Brighton head coach Powell also highlighted the “very tight turnaround (between the end of the international window and this weekend’s games) so we’ve got some tired bodies that need to recover.”
The consequences of this will be seen in terms of managing players closely depending on the minutes they get and various other factors. However, the one positive that Powell was able to point out was that “ultimately for us this time everyone has come back fit and healthy.” This is good news for a Brighton team who have struggled with injuries and suspensions so far this season.
Powell is wary of today’s opponents Manchester United who have started the season strongly with two wins and zero goals conceded that the team ‘expects it to be tough’ on Sunday. The former Lionesses head coach declared that Manchester United are a “very good side,” adding: “they were a very good side last season [and] they’ve got more depth this season’.
The Seagulls chief also reflected on encountering a familiar face on Sunday as they come up against former Albion player, Maya Le Tissier, who joined Manchester United in the summer, after four years in Sussex. Manchester United have also brought in a number of other signings over the summer, including Nikita Parris, who joined from Arsenal. However, Powell says her team have ‘fighting spirit’ and that ‘it’s up to us [Brighton] to try and upset them and get something out of the game’.
Another key talking point from the week that Powell also discussed was the news of the report on the systemic abuse of female footballers in the US. As a leading player herself in the past, the Brighton head coach said that she was “really upset for those people [that were affected by the abuse] and upset for the game. We all have a duty of care and a responsibility to call anything we see that’s inappropriate out or any actions that we see to challenge.”
Reflecting further, Powell spoke of her admiration for those who have spoken out. When asked whether she thought that the WSL had the right systems in place to prevent this from happening or give a platform to those who want to speak out, she said she was “hopeful” that clubs did and that at Brighton she believed the correct mechanisms were in place.