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Donnelly: Embrace the challenge

“We’re full of confidence and obviously we want to get something from it”

19 December 2020

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Gemma Donnelly praised Leicester City and was keen to highlight Rovers’ own achievements, ahead of the two sides meeting at Bamber Bridge on Sunday (2pm kick-off).

The Foxes are top of the table heading into the final fixtures before Christmas and while Donnelly believes they will present another huge test for her in-form Rovers side, she is relishing the chance to pit their wits against the league leaders.

“This will be the third time that we’ve played Leicester and they’re such a strong team, they’ve got quality in abundance,” she said of Sunday’s opponents.  

“They’ve openly said they are striving for promotion this season, so again it’s a good opportunity for us to gauge ourselves against the best team in the league and just to see where we’re at.

“We’re full of confidence and obviously we want to get something from it. Anything can happen, it’s at home and we have that confidence.

“We’re also realists as well. You can’t fault what Leicester have achieved to date and I think it will be a really tough task. It’s something that we won’t shy away from - we never do.”

A six-game unbeaten run has seen Rovers rise and remain in fifth position in the FA Women’s Championship, something which Donnelly was keen to applaud the team for.

She continued: “We’ve had an unbelievable set of results over the last couple of months and that’s credit to the players for their hard work.

“We’re in a great place, it’s a complete difference to last year, it’s a good place to be, but we’re really aware that this good form will come to an end at some point.

“We’re prepared for that, we’ll embrace it and hopefully it will give that kick on to work harder so that we can avoid being in a lull too long and have a successful second part of the season as well.”

The visit of Leicester is set to be broadcast live on The FA Player and Donnelly also stressed the need to stay in touch with supporters while they are unable to attend matches in person.

“We have to remain engaged with our fans, it’s so important,” the Rovers boss added. “We’re so grateful for everybody that tunes in and is following us.

“I was at the RTC this week asking the Under-10s if they had been watching and I think it’s really important to have role models for these girls.

“More so than ever you can watch females playing football now and why not watch your own team?

“It’s aspiration to kick on in the RTC with the hope to go and play as several of the players in our squad have done now, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to watch the Ladies live.

“I look forward to the game on Sunday and to receiving the messages of support.

“It’ll be incredibly tough but we don’t shirk our duties, we’ll get on with it and we’ll try to deliver a performance worthy of some form of points.

“But if that’s not to be, we'll ensure that we pick it up and go again after Christmas.”

Read more from Donnelly in her matchday programme notes, available here.

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