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‘Opportunity to express ourselves’ – Beard

Matt Beard has urged his City Women squad to “be creative and express themselves” when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the return of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Saturday (April 17th, 2pm KO).

🎥  Beard previews match-up with the Seagulls as FA Cup returns

The Robins return to action at The People’s Pension Stadium following a two-week international break and Beard wants his group to put the good work they have done in training into practice on the pitch.

Speaking exclusively to Robins TV, the City Women manager said: “There is no pressure of the league in getting three points or a point – I really want them to go out there an express themselves. It’s a knockout situation, so we don’t really have anything to lose in these types of games.

“We have got some very technically gifted and talented players in the team,” he continued. “We’ve got goals not just in Ebony Salmon, but Charlie Wellings, Abi Harrison, Yana Daniels and I think Molly Pike and Carla Humphrey can add to that.

“I want them to be creative and put into practice what we have been working on on the training pitch and do it with smiles on their faces, without the pressures of the league. We can then take that into the next game against Aston Villa and the two games that follow that.”

The Robins last met the Seagulls in late January when City ran out 3-0 victors in an emphatic first league win of the season – a result which sparked the Robins turnaround in form.

Since the two sides last met, the Seagulls have also gone on to win five of their last six games to lift them up into sixth in the league standings and distance themselves from the relegation battle.

Beard said: “They’re in fantastic form at the moment. I have been really impressed with how they have turned their season around since we last played them,” said Beard.

“Hope (Powell) and Amy (Merricks) deserve a lot of credit for how well they have done. It is tough to play a team that are in good form, but it is a welcome distraction from the league campaign.

“It’s a competition that is close to my heart – I’ve been there a few times in the final. It will be great for the team to progress to the next round and the winner has a home tie against a team in the lower leagues.

Beard’s defensive options could also be boosted by the return of centre-back Meaghan Sargeant, who has been back in First Team training after completing her rehabilitation from a knee injury which has seen her side lined for over a year.

“Meaghan Sargeant has been training with the group for a month now, so it’s a chance for us to look to get Meg minutes in the game and keep everyone fresh for the run in. We’ve worked really hard on the training pitch over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

There will be no stream available for Saturday’s game Vitality Women’s FA Cup tie against Brighton and Hove Albion instead supporters can follow all the action via Social Media channels.


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