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Preview: Sunderland Ladies v Rovers Ladies

It’s another away trip for Gemma Donnelly’s side

15 March 2019

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First meets second in the Northern Premier Division as Rovers Ladies travel to face Sunderland on Sunday, (2pm).

Rovers have played Sunderland twice already this season at home, coming out on top in both games. 

The Blues boast a 10-point gap to their opponents and have three games in hand on the Wearsiders.

However, manager Gemma Donnelly is not taking anything for granted. 

“Given their position in the league, it’s going to be a tough ask to pick up points away from home against a difficult opposition. 

“I thought the second time we played them they were a strong team and had changed their tactics against us. 

“With that in mind, as well as having an interrupted fixture programme, we go into the game, as always prepared, but also under no illusion that it will be easy.”

Rovers had to come from behind in both previous games and Donnelly expects a similarly tough test on Sunday.

“It's given the girls impetus to pick up the quality. It shouldn’t need that to show our capabilities, but whether we go in front or go behind, we can retain that winning mentality and still produce a performance worthy of victory.”

The Ladies haven't played for two weeks following postponements to games against Huddersfield and then Bradford in midweek. But this is the start of a busy week, with three games in the next eight days. 

“It’s not been ideal preparation having two games called off, one of which was on a training evening. But it has allowed the girls to get some much needed rest, given the hectic schedule. 

“We had a good training session on Thursday and I know the players are all ready to bounce back into this game.

“We're going from no games to three, which isn’t easy with the size of the squad that we have. But we’ve done it before and no doubt we’ll have to do it again. 

“The players know what is expected of them and given that we could be much closer to winning the league at that stage depending on other results, it gives them a short-term target to achieve.”

Loanee goalkeeper Fran Stenson comes back into the squad, while everyone else is fit and available for selection. 

You can follow all the action on Twitter, @RoversLadies, with kick-off scheduled for 2pm at the Hetton Centre. 

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