27 February 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Progression is the key word for Karen Hills as Tottenham Hotspur Ladies prepare for a busy end to the campaign.
The ladies still have nine of their 20 matches remaining in the FA Women's Premier League South after returning to action last weekend.
They suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at high-flying Coventry City Ladies on Sunday, leaving them ninth of 11 in the table, six points clear of danger with only one team relegated to the South-East Combination.
Having endured a relegation scrap last season, Karen is determined to look up rather than down.
"We've only played twice competitively since December, once in the Women's FA Cup, once in the league, so it's been a tough couple of months for us," said Karen.
"We've almost a new team compared to the start of the season. We've lost a few players but gained the likes of Charlie Dolby and Lucia Leon while Kate O'Leary has moved up from the reserves and Natalie Grafton is back from injury.
"Charlie joined us from CK Basildon, a league below us, a quick, versatile player who did really well in her debut at Coventry. Lucia is also very talented.
"The girls have been performing well and we've been a little unlucky. We've played the top four and given a good account of ourselves in every match and showed we're more than capable of getting positive results against them on our day."
Sunday was a similar story at Coventry. After a goalless first half, the Sky Blues grabbed what turned out to be the winner through Marie Gauntlett three minutes into the second half.
Karen reported: "The first half was a battle for both teams, Coventry then scored early in the second half and we were superb in the final half-hour.
"We outplayed them, fought for everything and put them on the back foot, but we couldn't find a goal. Their centre-halves were outstanding and a lot of their success in the league is down to the lack of goals they are conceding."
Portsmouth are next up on Sunday with a 2pm kick-off at Ware FC.
"That will be tough," added Karen. "When we played them away we played at Fratton Park, the first game there in front of 650 fans, a great occasion for ladies football.
"We stepped up that day and did the job. We came away with a deserved victory and I'm sure they will want to come here and put that right this weekend.
"We then play Charlton in a midweek game (March 12) and follow that with West Ham at home on March 16. It's a tough run of games but we're ready for it.
"We want to stabilise this season, progress again and to finish comfortably in mid-table would represent that.
"Then it will be all about pushing on again next season."