Preview: Sheffield FC Ladies v Hull City Ladies FC : 11/11/18
Sunday sees Sheffield travel to Hull City Ladies, for the second of this month's Yorkshire Derbies.
Hull come into the game off the back of a 3-1 win away last week-end at Bradford City, but lost their previous two games against Guiseley and Sunderland respectively.
Sheffield manager, Kyle O’Reilly, spoke ahead of the game, summing up the season so far for his young side:
“I think overall we are where we probably should be. Coming into this season with a mix of last season’s development players and a few new faces, you don’t know how the group will take to each other, plus we’re in a new league which most haven’t played in before. Added to that, we only had four weeks together as a squad to prepare for the season, so it was a real baptism of fire for us."
"But that being said, we’ve adapted relatively well and are competing with most teams at this level - some of which have a wealth of experience."
"We’ve come away from the Derby, Middlesbrough and Guiseley games feeling we could have got more out of them, but on the other hand we were fortunate against Nottingham Forest to get all three points, so all in all, we’re probably where we should be.”
Last week-end, O'Reilly's team put up a good performance against an experienced Guiseley, playing almost a third of the match with ten players, and the manager reflected back on that match:
“I thought we did ok. It wasn’t a high-quality match in all fairness and it’s obviously frustrating to lose it late on, but defensively, we limited their chances and opportunities."
“They have one of the better midfields in the league, and I felt we stifled them for the most part, and had some very good opportunities when we attacked. The difference was they put their shots away and we didn’t."
“Obviously, going down to ten men doesn’t help, but we saw it at the Morecambe game too, the players didn’t give up, and they dug in to make a game of it. We still had chances with a player down which shows the potential we have in the rank,s but we just have to keep working hard now to unlock it on a more consistent basis because once it clicks, I feel we will have a very solid group - we just have to be patient and keep learning!”
Shifting the focus back onto this week, it’s another Yorkshire rival in Hull. Where do you see them being a threat this weekend?
“Hull have threats all over the pitch. I watched them a few seasons back in the regional leagues, and they played very similarly then as they do now. They’re a very attacking, high energy side, and an honest and close-knit unit, so it’s no surprise to see them looking comfortable in the league since getting promoted."
“It’s a game which I’m looking forward to, and one I hope, as ever, we come away from with three points.”
Sunday's match kicks off at 2pm at the University of Hull, HU6 7TS.
Article by Oli Coultas.