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Survival in sight

Posted: Sat 10 May 2014
Author: rovers.co.uk
Gemma Donnelly

Gemma Donnelly

Image by: Kipax.com

Rovers Ladies can secure their Premier League survival with victory over Stoke City this weekend.

Interim manager Gemma Donnelly hopes her side can build on last Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Derby County when they travel to the Britannia Stadium.

Rovers currently sit eighth in the Northern Division table, two points clear of bottom side Leeds United, but with a game in hand.

And Donnelly hopes to avoid any final day drama, by getting the job done against Stoke on Sunday.

“If we get three points at the weekend, we’re safe,” she said. “However, if we don’t and Leeds win and Newcastle win, it pushes us right back down there with Wolves, with a game left. We’ve got Preston, who have beaten us twice this season, so I don’t want to leave it ‘til the last game. 

“With regards to this weekend, I’ve said it all along, if we meet an opposition that wants to try and play football, there is no threat to our ability. It’s when teams – which seems to be the common style in this league – play direct football, that’s what we seem to struggle with.

“But we’ve started to adapt to it, because we’ve had to. So we’ve added qualities to our game, whereby we play football, but are also able to contend with the opposition playing direct football.

“Standout performances from last weekend were Steffi Hardy and Jo Hutcheson, Sophie Flynn scored a great goal to bring us back to 2-2 and it was a welcome back for Rio Hardy after a long break due to quite a serious injury.

“We go into the Stoke game with a full squad selection and the introduction of our graduating Centre of Excellence players – Lorrie Doze, Hannah Godfrey and Aisha Yallop. They will all be included in the squad this weekend and what a great experience to play at a Premier League ground and to travel to the stadium on the first team coach, kindly provided by the club.

“We won’t change the style of our play, because the ground will suit us – having a perfect pitch to play on – and we’re in confident mood, having pulled it back from being 2-0 down in such a high-pressure match last Sunday.    

“Stoke will be a difficult team to play against, but we’ve just got to work hard again, show our quality and hopefully have it all wrapped up this weekend, so that we can retain our Premier League status.”

Kick-off at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday is at 10.30am. For live Twitter updates, follow @RoversLadies.