Gemma Donnelly knows Rovers will be coming up against a side full of confidence when they meet Wolves in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
The Blues will travel to AFC Telford for the fourth-round tie against fourth-tier Wanderers, who have already knocked out two higher-ranked opponents to reach this stage of the competition.
And the Rovers manager was full of praise for her counterparts when assessing the challenge that the visitors will face this weekend.
“We’ve said that to the girls in training, it will definitely not be an easy task,” Donnelly commented in her pre-match interview earlier this week.
“Wolves are a good side; we’ve met a couple of times before several seasons ago. I watched their game on Sunday against Watford, and I thought they looked lively.
“I know they are going to cause us problems. It’s the FA Cup, anything can happen.
“We will be considered as the favourites going into it, obviously, and so we should be given where we stand in the leagues, but they will be super organised, well drilled, they’ll have a game plan.
“They went and played their football at Watford despite the difference in leagues and despite Watford sitting at the top of the third tier.
“I have to give massive credit to them for taking the game to Watford and they got their rewards for that.
“It will be a different game against us, and I’d like to hope that our quality can shine through, but I know that it won’t be a walkover.”
Following the 1-0 defeat to Coventry United last time out, Donnelly afforded the squad a week off during the international break and believes the FA Cup can provide a welcome distraction from a difficult spell of league form.
She also delivered some positive news on the injury front, with midfielder Annabel Blanchard returning to the pitch this week after missing the last four matches.
“Our preparation this week is fully focused on the weekend’s fixture,” the Blues boss added.
“We gave the girls and all the staff a week off following the Coventry game and I think we needed it. It’s been a long season for us and I’m absolutely not complaining about that.
“But the girls needed a break from us all and I’ve said that before, so we could recharge the batteries and then we hit the ground running earlier this week.
“Getting back into training, everyone has looked really lively and raring to go. It’s allowed us to rest a couple of players, so Annabel [Blanchard] will be back in non-contact training and it’s good to see her back on the pitch again.
“I know a few of the girls watched an FA Cup game last weekend so they are raring to go to get back into the swing of things.”