Bees manager Lee Burch is calling for his players to use their positive performance against Durham as momentum booster for this weekend’s crucial clash with Charlton Athletic.
The Bees are still awaiting their first victory of the FA Women’s Championship season, but have put in some improved performances in recent matches, leading Burch to believe that a big result is not far away.
The boss said that his side are ready to face the pressure of this Sunday’s big game and believes that all the tools are in place to pick up the points.
He said: “Sometimes you want to take the pressure off players, but this week they know how big the game is, so there’s no shying away from it. We have constantly labelled November as a big month and it starts with Charlton.
“I quite like the fact we have the number of games we do this week, it is a real chance to test the squad. It is an opportunity to keep playing and build on a good performance against Durham and hopefully a chance for us to build on a good performance against Charlton on Sunday. It’s a real chance to get the momentum going, as we then roll into Lewes, before rolling into Blackburn.”
When the Bees meet the Addicks, the games are always a tight and cagey affair. Last season’s matches were no different as the spoils were shared in the league clash, as two goals late in the match resulted in a 1-1 draw.
Burch’s side then edged Charlton in the Conti Cup with a bonus-point penalty shootout victory and Burch has stressed how important it is that his side seize the initiative on Sunday afternoon.
“We have already seen this season that the first goal has been important in every game. It’s going to be huge, we can’t chasing games, we’re still conceding some unfortunate goals. We know we need to get on the front foot and attack Charlton, we know they are a good side, it was really close last year.
“They came to us last year in the same position that we are in now, they are a very good side. They have got some really good players and we know their threats. I want Charlton to really come up against the best version of London Bees this weekend.
“We have to start showing a bit of consistency now, we have to take that performance from Durham and show that it wasn’t just a one-off. We need to go and put that type of performance in against the teams around us and get some points on the board. It is no good turning up against Durham if you can’t go and put in consistent performances against the sides you need to get points off.”
The game with Charlton marks the start of a busy week for the Bees, as they face three matches across two competitions in the coming days. They host Lewes in the Conti Cup next Wednesday, before making the long trip North to take on Blackburn Rovers in another key clash next Sunday.
Despite some of the Bees squad missing, Burch was keen to emphasise how important every single squad member is going to be heading into the busy November schedule.
“We have got a few injuries to contend with and a few coming back into the squad. Millie Constantine has unfortunately picked up an injury at a bad time, playing for the development side, any hope of using her this week is unfortunately not around.
“The squad is important, we have to keep everyone fit and ready and raring to go. It is also important that the team get that consistency of playing, we have rotated the squad a lot this year because of where we’re at. Now it is down to them to understand that they need to keep hold of their shirt, whether that is on Sunday or in the Conti Cup.
“We have seen with Marianne (Taho), that she put in a really good performance in the Conti Cup against Bristol and has started every game since. The players need to use any minutes they get, whether it is 10 minutes in the league or 90 minutes in the cup, they need to use it to keep hold of that shirt and keep them in my thoughts going forward.”