Lewes FC interim manager Craig Gill says the team wants to finish this season off “with a bang” as the Rooks prepare for Sunday’s clash with Sheffield United at the Dripping Pan.
Lewes are unbeaten in their last two outings and are seeking to progress up to seven in the FA Women’s Championship with a win over the Blades this weekend.
There are just four games of the season remaining, with London City, Coventry United and Liverpool to come once Sheffield United are out of the way.
And Gill is hoping his players can put on a show for the Rooks fans and deliver three more points.
“We’re really looking forward to Sunday’s game. Sheffield United are coming off the back of a really good run and they got a good win at the weekend over Bristol City,” says Gill.
“Taking that into consideration, we know they’ll be a strong side a really well organised. Neil Redfern has huge experience and we know we’re in for a tough game.
“However, we’ve analysed them in detail, know what threats they bring and feel we can negate those threats. By the same token we know there are areas which we can exploit.
‘We’re not going to let the season fizzle out’
“If we perform as well as we can do – and have done in the Crystal Palace game – then we can deliver a good performance and take three points.
“We’ve got four games left, two at home and two away. Twelve points are at stake and, as I said to the players this week, we’re not going to let the season fizzle out.
“We’re gunning for all 12 points here. We want to be on the front foot and finish the season in as high a league position as we possibly can. There’s still so much to play for.
“I’m really looking forward to our supporters coming down to the Pan as always this Sunday, with the band as well! The fans give these players such as lift and it really helps. We’re looking to finish this season off with a bang.”
Gill was unable to be pitch-side for the Durham clash after catching a bought of Covid-19. But the boss says that didn’t stop him contributing from isolation!
“I missed the Durham game due to Covid unfortunately. It caught up with me at last after two years!” he says.
“It was quite surreal really. The first time in over 40 years of coaching that I held a team talk and managed the game from afar.
“We did the team talk and preparation through Zoom and I was in constant contact via telephone with Adam our analyst, who was on the bench relaying messages back to me. We also had Jesus and Kelly there.
“I saw it on the live feed, which was an interesting experience. I’d just like to thank Jesus and Kelly for standing in for me over that period. It’s great to be back though! I’m all well and good and really looking forward to Sunday’s game.”
Focus on Sheffield United
Sheffield United sit fifth in the FA Women’s Championship, three points ahead of the Rooks and with a superior goal difference.
The Blades have enjoyed a boost in results of late, with recent victories over Bristol City, London City, Watford and Blackburn.
Lewes secured a 3-1 victory over United back in November thanks to goals from Ini Umotong, Paula Howells and Lucy Ashworth-Clifford.
Previewing Sunday’s clash, Blades boss Neil Redfearn told their official club website: “We’ve got to keep standards high. We got beat at home by Lewes, we looked shattered that day after a busy month and a big run of games, so we’ll go down there to give a good account of ourselves and try to get a good result.”
Redfearn hopes to have captain Sophie Bradley-Auckland back in the squad but has Charlotte Newsham and Bex Rayner sidelined until after the international break.
Lewes FC vs Sheffield United tickets
Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 12noon on Sunday, are available to buy now online (at a discount).
Ticket prices online are as follows:
Adults – £11 general admittance online (£12 on the gate)
Concessions – £7 general admittance online (£8 on the gate)
Kids (under 16) – free!
Beach hut for six people – £99
Photos: James Boyes (Flickr)