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Preview: Wolves Women v Rovers Ladies

The boss gives her thoughts on the upcoming cup encounter

1 December 2018

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Rovers Ladies manager Gemma Donnelly can’t wait to get started in this season’s SSE Women’s FA Cup, which kicks off with a Second Round away tie at Wolves on Sunday.

Rovers reached the Fourth Round of the competition last season before eventually going out to Charlton Athletic in extra-time.

Donnelly said: “The FA Cup is an exciting competition to be involved in because you’re not sure who you’re going to come up against. It’s also a chance to earn a bit of income which the players benefit from.

“We’re realistic that we could be competing with full-time players and it would be a big ask to compete with the likes of those teams.

“Our sights are set on trying to get promotion and if possible to retain the League Cup.”

However, Donnelly insisted that the team are not getting ahead of themselves and taking it one game at a time.

“For this weekend we’ve just got to look to improve on the areas of weakness in training and we hope to see an improvement on Sunday.

“Like every fixture we’ll go in with a positive mind-set and do the best that we can.”

The Blues defeated Wolves 3-0 on the opening day of last season, before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. Since relegation, the Wolfettes play in the National League Division One Midlands, where they sit in second position.

“If we’re basing Wolves on their performance last year, they were defensively minded but very disciplined and looked to hit on the break,” Donnelly added.

“They caught us off guard, went one goal up and then were incredibly hard to break down.

“For that they’ve got to be given credit, considering we were top and bottom of the league respectively. For them to keep hold of a point was testament to their hard work on the day.

“We were disrespectful of our opponents given their position in the league, which is unlike us. We took for granted that we would take all three points.”

Donnelly won’t be taking the Midlands club lightly this time around.

“Wolves were relentless in their effort. Our quality was evident but we had to work tirelessly to come away from a point. We learnt lessons about how we mentally prepare for playing certain teams.”

Rovers come into this game off the back of a 9-2 victory over Doncaster Belles Rovers last Sunday, with Natasha Flint scoring five of the goals.

But Rovers will be without one of the goalscorers, Ellie Stewart, after the centre-back suffered a ruptured ACL in that victory.

There is some good news in that Charlotte Stuart will return to the squad. The defender has not played since Rovers’ victory at Middlesbrough at the start of October.

Development player Eve Clarkson will also make the squad, while Saffron Jordan returns after being unavailable last weekend.

You can follow all the action from Sunday’s game on our Twitter (@RoversLadies).

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