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Preview: Bristol Academy v Oxford United Women

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup
Stoke Gifford Stadium
Thursday, August 27th, 7pm

Bristol Academy are right in the mix for qualification for the knockout stages of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup and midfielder Caroline Weir is keen to keep them on track with victory over Oxford.

Bristol’s league form has been patchy, seeing them sit bottom of the pile in WSL 1, but the Continental Tyres Cup has been a different matter – where they have two wins from three matches.

Comfortable victories over Aston Villa and Yeovil Town were followed up with a narrow 1-0 loss to Notts County last time out and the Vixens will be keen to get back to winning ways when they host winless Oxford at Stoke Gifford Stadium on Thursday evening.

With just two games remaining in the group, it is getting towards crunch time and Weir believes the competition has proven extremely beneficial to the squad this term.

“The Continental Tyres Cup has been good for us, it has helped us build confidence while we have struggled in the league,” explained the 20-year-old.

“We’ll be expecting to beat Oxford United – but that doesn’t mean we’ll be underestimating them.

“We know from the last few weeks that a good result and performance prepares us well for the league, and we’re also keen to go as far as we can in the competition.

“Making the knockout stages would be a boost of confidence, but any win we can get at the moment is good for the team and good for morale.”

WSL 2 side Oxford are yet to record a point in this year’s Continental Tyres Cup with defeats against Yeovil, Birmingham and Notts County.

Confidence will be high in the camp after a 3-2 win over Watford in the league last weekend and while results may not have gone their way, Kayleigh Hines insists playing WSL 1 sides is an important step in her side’s development.

Hines said: “After we played Birmingham we picked the game apart and when we broke down the goals, we conceded from the type of things that we defend on the training ground – individual mistakes make the difference against a WSL 1 side. “We kept the ball really well for periods, but you can’t let it slip against that calibre of player and it’s been a great learning curve.“Everyone’s committed to play at this level and it’s a great opportunity to test yourself against international players, and we’re approaching Bristol with the same mentality. It’s great for everyone’s development.”

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