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Oxtoby pleased with positive reaction

City Women boss Oxtoby is happy with how her team have bounced back in training and are gearing up to face Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. 

City Women will be back in action for the first time in three weeks since defeat against Chelsea, and Oxtoby is hoping to improve as they return to London once again to face Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

“Its probably the break we needed after the result against Chelsea,” said Oxtoby.

“Everyone could go away and reflect. Training the last 10 days has been exceptional, we had to look at ourselves in the mirror a little bit and really take some responsibility for individual mistakes and as a team as well, the girls have done that, and they’ve responded really well in training.

“We’ve challenged them all week in training about thinking about their individual roles within the group and taking responsibility for the good and the bad that happens. We’ve got a young group here and they're learning every single day. We’ve got to get that balance right where we challenge them enough without breaking them, so I think they’ve been excellent like I said over the break and I’m looking forward to the next game.”

The Australian manager is happy with the reaction and attitude of her squad after their outing against Chelsea and has encouraged her players to use the loss as a learning curve to help improve in the future.

“One thing I would say about this group is that they are together. I know from previous experiences at other clubs that sometimes results like that can fracture groups but that’s not the case here.

“Like I said we had a couple of days off they had a chance to reflect and they’ve been excellent. We ask them to challenge each other in training a little bit more, we’ve asked them to be more aggressive and they’ve done that, but at the same time they are very much a together group and that’s going to hold us in really good stead through the tough times.”

The game against Arsenal will mean that The Robins would’ve played two of last season’s top three in their first three games as well as a very strong Everton side, and Oxtoby urges people to not jump to early conclusions about her side ahead of a long season.

“We’ve said all along, don’t judge us on the first three games. We’ve been in this position before, it’s a very long, tough season, it’s going to have lots of ups and downs but we need to go to Arsenal and really embrace to the challenge which is what we’ve been banging on to the players about both individually and as a group.

“We’re looking at performances and we’re looking for people to stand up because that will give us the foundation moving forward for the rest of the season.”

Lewis Barton


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