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'It’s a great challenge for us' – Oxtoby

Bristol City Women’s boss Tanya Oxtoby is happy to be back with the squad after self-isolating and is relishing her side's next challenge against the Royals. 

Oxtoby is back with Bristol City after she tested positive for Covid-19, however the boss is back to full health and has enjoyed her first few days back with the squad as they prepare for their first game in 18 days when they travel to Reading on Sunday.

“It’s good to be back,” said Oxtoby.

“It’s been a tough few weeks as I’ve been really unwell but it’s good to be back with the group. I missed the players and the staff a lot so I’m really looking forward to the build-up to this weekend’s game."

The Robins are unbeaten in their last two games in all competitions, and Oxtoby has been impressed with the squad’s recent performances. City will be hoping to carry that strong form forward when they face the Royals.

“We feel like we’re now understanding a bit more of what we’re looking to do. There’s been some consistency in performances recently which has been great, and the message has been to keep yourselves in games, and we’ve done that.

“This weekend is going to be no different. Reading are a great side with loads of experience and we’re going to have to be on our game and switched on to make sure that we’re in a position to keep ourselves in the game and hurt them going the other way.

Ebony will be looking to continue her scoring run on Sunday afternoon (via JMPUK)

"The group has got a little bit of confidence from the last few performances. From our perspective, we know it’s going to be tough; we’ve got a load of injuries so three games in a week is going to be tough to manage, but it’s a great challenge for us.

"We’re looking forward to it and we're on the back of some positive performances and positive results more importantly, so we’ve got to push on now and really make this week count.”

The last time these two sides met was in the thrilling 3-3 draw at the Madejski Stadium where City came from two goals behind twice to earn themselves a well-earned point.

Oxtoby is hopeful that the Robins can conjure some of that same determination to push this Reading side to the limits.

“I think the girls have shown they have a fighting spirit in them all season, the things they’ve had to deal with this season has helped them build character and we’re really looking forward to seeing that again on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to be at our absolute best to beat a very organised and intelligent Reading side. That’s going to require not only concentration but a lot of guts and grit as well because there are going to be periods of the game where the momentum is going to be with Reading and we're going to have to ride that out and look to swing it the other way.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

Supporters can watch Bristol City Women take on Reading Women live via the FA Player App on Sunday (2pm KO). 

Lewis Barton

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