Lewes FC interim boss Craig Gill is hoping for a strong performance when the Rooks rock up at Bristol City on Sunday after a three-week gap without a competitive match.
Lewes’ last fixture was back on 21 November against Sheffield United, where Ini Umotong got the ball rolling in a 3-1 victory.
Since then the international break has meant Gill’s troops have been able to rest and recover ahead of a dense fixture schedule this side of Christmas.
And Gill is targeting safe progress in the Women’s FA Cup tie at Bristol.
“We’re very much looking forward to Sunday’s clash at Bristol City in the Women’s FA Cup,” says Gill.
“We’ve had three weeks to prepare for this game. The international break we had Rebecca McKenna away with Northern Ireland and she scored her first international goal, which was great for her.
“Obviously during that period we’ve worked on a number of aspects, both in and out of possession. The girls have worked really hard and applied themselves really well.”
Quick off the back of Sunday’s game is a Conti Cup clash with Reading on Wednesday – Lewes’ final home tie at the Dripping Pan before Christmas.
And Gill expects his troops to be ready for the swift turnaround of fixtures.
“We feel really prepared now going into this next block of games,” says the boss.
“We have three games in eight days. Bristol City on Sunday and then Reading on Wednesday – our last home game of this year. We’re really looking forward to seeing our supporters at that game.
“And then we go into the last league game away to Crystal Palace on 19 December.”
Focus on Bristol City
City head into this fixture unbeaten in their last six games, which includes a 3-1 win over Lewes.
Their run of form has seen them overtake the Rooks in the league and Lauren Smith’s side now sit fifth.
City edged Lewes in mid-November thanks to goals from Aggie Beever-Jones, Abi Harrison and Melissa Johnson. They have also got the better of the Rooks in the league this season.
And boss Smith said she was “gutted” to face Lewes once more!
“We’ve played them so many times,” Smith told Bristol City’s Twitter channel. “It’s going to be a good game and obviously they’re going to be up for it, because they’ve been here a number of times now and not come away with anything.
“In that sense it’s a good game for us but like any team we just want to get into the hat for the next round. Hopefully we can do well, as we did last time they came, and we can put some goals past them.”
Gill’s troops evidently face a side in flying form and Smith is hoping for more of the same.
“What I feel has happened is we’ve started to play our way even more,” she added. “When we’re in the opposition half we’re moving the ball quickly and creating different types of goals. I want more of that in attack. But it would also be nice to back that up with clean sheets. We know we have a good defensive line and they’re excellent in what they do, but it’s about shutting up shop.”
Bristol City vs Lewes kicks off at 3pm on Sunday.