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Start as we mean to go on, says Richards

“We need to turn up to each game and perform from the first whistle”

5 March 2021

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Jade Richards is hoping Rovers can start on the front foot when they entertain Durham at Bamber Bridge in the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday (2pm kick-off).

The Blues picked up back-to-back draws against Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace in their last two fixtures but came away frustrated that they were unable to turn either into a first win of 2021.

Richards, who was on the scoresheet for the third time this season in the 2-2 draw with Palace last month, spoke about how Rovers plan to turn their recent fortunes around.  

“We want to put some more points on the board,” the former Aston Villa centre-back commented. “We definitely feel like we’ve missed opportunities before.

“But every game is winnable in this league, so we just need to make sure that we start games really well, because I think at times, we don’t do that.

“We leave it until the second half and then that’s 45 minutes too late. We need to turn up to each game and perform from the first whistle, show our intensity and our desire to want to win the game and then hopefully we pick some more points up.”

Following a month-long break from league fixtures, friendlies have filled the void, with Richards admitting the team are now raring to returning to the pitch.  

“I’m very much looking forward to getting back to competitive action,” the defender revealed. “The break sort of slows down momentum and everyone just wants to be playing.

“But we’ve had some good weeks of preparation in training, so we’re just looking forward to putting that into work on the pitch.”

Sunday’s opponents sit second in the current standings with just goal difference separating them and league leaders Leicester City.

The Blues played out a goalless draw with Durham in the reverse fixture at Maiden Castle, but Richards knows they will be just as eager to pick up a win on their travels this time around.

She continued: “Durham is always going to be a tough test, like any team in this league. It’ll be a tricky game and one that we’ve been preparing for this week.

“We’ll try and make Bamber Bridge our fortress this weekend and try to secure another clean sheet because if a team can’t score past you, then the minimum you’ll get is a draw.

“We’re going to work on that again, being hard to beat and look to capitalise on chances that in previous games we’ve failed to do, to grab those three points.”

You can read more from Jade inside our digital matchday programme, available to download for free from Sunday morning.

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