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Bristol City v Spurs – Karen and Juan’s preview

Fri 13 November 2020, 18:00|Tottenham Hotspur

It’s Women’s Football Weekend and we take on Bristol City in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL) tomorrow (Saturday 14 November), kick-off is 6.30pm.

For the first time, every WSL fixture will be staggered across the weekend, as part of this season’s Women’s Football Weekend, which means that fans won’t miss any action across the league. With all games being played behind closed doors, The FA are calling on supporters to show their support for Women’s Football Weekend by tuning into the live fixtures being broadcast on BT Sport, BBC and The FA Player.

On the second annual Women’s Football Weekend, Head Coach Juan Amoros said: “I think it’s a fantastic idea. With the way the women’s game is progressing, it’s a great initiative for fans to be able to follow all the action and give it the attention it deserves, without there being any kick-off clashes. Given that all the games are being played behind closed doors, it’s great that the fans, who we’re obviously missing a lot, are able to enjoy and watch all the fixtures while keeping safe at home. We obviously really want them back at our games, but it’s difficult times for everyone. Hopefully, Women’s Football Weekend will be able to attract some new fans to the game too, given it’s the men’s international break and the games are free to watch.”

Head Coach Karen Hills added: “I would encourage everyone to tune in because the standard and style of football is exciting. The game is only progressing, and we’ve seen in the first few months of this season just how competitive and entertaining the league is and there’s some great fixtures being played this weekend with fans able to watch all the action live via various channels.”

Following last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Reading, our attentions turn to tomorrow’s clash with Bristol, who sit bottom of the league and are yet to pick up any points so far this season.

“Bristol is a really difficult place to go,” Juan commented. “I think it’s going to be a tough battle and a game where both teams are going to do absolutely everything to win the game and hopefully we can come out on top. Looking back on the Reading game, the performance after their first goal was really good. We controlled the game against a very tough opposition, especially in the first half, we played some very good football. I think it’s definitely something we can build on against Bristol and getting a point against Reading, a team that we lost to twice last season, shows the progression that we want to see.”

Karen added: “Tomorrow is going to be a very tough game with both teams looking for their first league win of the season. Both teams need to perform, and we know that we have the ability in our team to beat any team in this league – we truly believe that. We’re looking strong and we’re focussing on our game plan. I think there were a lot of positives in terms of our performance against Reading. Obviously coming from behind to get a draw against a strong Reading side is a positive and we were able to see Alex Morgan return to the pitch for her debut.”

We’ve seen already this season just how competitive and entertaining the league is

Karen Hills

Following her goal against Reading last weekend, Ashleigh Neville was named in the WSL Team of the Week, earning further praise from her managers.

“It’s great for Ash and gives her confidence,” Karen commented. “She is progressing nicely and getting exposed to different situations against top players. She played against one of the best forwards in Tobin Heath against Manchester United a couple of weeks ago and I thought she did an incredible defensive job. Every game is a learning experience for Ash and her journey. It is great to see her competing at this level on a consistent basis.”

Juan added: “Ash is a player currently in the early stages of just her second season of playing professionally and she is growing with every match. We know how reliable she is in defence and she popped up with an important goal for us against Reading – she’s been fantastic so far this season.”

Last time out against The Robins in the league last season, we came from behind following Kit Graham’s double to seal an important 2-1 victory at Stoke Gifford Stadium but sadly the forward, who hasn’t featured in our last three fixtures, will not travel with the squad for tomorrow’s match through injury.

“We obviously have great memories from Bristol with those two fantastic strikes from Kit last year after we were 1-0 down at half-time,” Juan said. “Kit is someone we are missing having on the pitch as she is recovering from an ankle injury but hopefully we’ll see her return to play very soon.”

Meanwhile, Karen and Juan confirmed that WSL Academy player Esther Morgan has been training with the squad this week having impressed since joining the Academy in the summer.

“It was only a matter of time before we invited Esther in to join first team training, given all the positive feedback we receive from Laura Kaminski (Academy manager) and she hasn’t disappointed,” Karen continued. “It’s always positive to see young talent coming into our squad. She’s come in and looked very relaxed and she’s got the ability to compete.”

Juan added: “She’s been with the Wales Under-19 squad and has been the captain of their side. She’s joined us at training and has been a really good addition to the group. She has a great future ahead of her and we are looking forward to seeing her development.”

I think it’s going to be a tough battle and a game where both teams are going to do absolutely everything to win

Juan Amoros

Ahead of Saturday’s match, Karen and Juan have sent their well wishes to Bristol City manager Tanya Oxtoby, who will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Karen said: “On behalf of Juan, myself and the team, we wish Tanya well and hope she makes a speedy recovery.”

Fans can follow tomorrow’s action against Bristol City live on The FA Player!