Lewes interim manager Craig Gill says the players channeled their frustration at having last weekend’s clash with Blackburn postponed into an extra training session this week that should have the Rooks primed to take on Watford on Sunday.
A waterlogged pitch forced last Sunday’s FA Women’s Championship clash against Rovers to be called off just two hours before kick-off.
It meant a long drive back south for the players and an extra training session was booked in on Tuesday.
And Gill says the squad has focused on the positive side of the cancellation, and used the extra time well.
“It was extremely frustrating to go all the way to Blackburn only for the game to be called off two hours before kick-off,” says the boss.
“But the benefit of that is we’ve had an extra day of training this week, so while Tuesday would normally be a recovery day for us we were able to sue that as a defensive strengthening day.
‘We’ve used our extra day well’
“That was extremely well executed by the players they played with great energy and quality. We took that session into Wednesday, which was more of a tactical piece where we worked on 11 vs 11, looking at team shape.
“Thursday we then used as a tactical day and looked at various offensive and defensive strategies, which leads us well into the game against Watford on Sunday.”
Keep the performances coming
Lewes head to Kings Langley on Sunday seeking a fourth win from their last six games.
The Rooks were downed 2-1 by Watford at the Dripping Pan back in November as a late Leanne Bell goal earned all three points for Sunday’s hosts.
And Gill is hoping for a better performance this time around, and believes the patches of progress showcased during last month’s 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace will come to fruition more here.
“We’re under no illusion that it’s going to be a tough encounter,” Gill adds.
“They’re an organised side and we’ve already unfortunately been on the end of a 2-1 defeat at home to them earlier in the season.
“So we want to make sure that doesn’t repeat itself on Sunday.
“It will be a touch encounter but if the players play as well as we know they can – such as in the first half against Crystal Palace.
“If we can do that then I’m sure we can put in a good performance that will be enough to get a positive result.”
Focus on Watford
Sunday’s opposition find themselves in 11th place in the Women’s Championship, but have managed to pick up two draws from their last four outings.
They have won just one game all season, against the Rooks, and have found the net 11 times in 14 games.
Their two goalscorers against Lewes in November – Emma Beckett and Leanne Bell – each have two goals for the season.
And their manager Gifton Noel-Williams has confidence in his troops, despite the 3-0 loss at Charlton last time out.
“We’ll put the (Charlton) game away and we’ll be looking forward to Lewes on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s the same as we’ve done in the past, it’s nothing new,” Noel-Williams told Watford’s club website earlier this week.
“It’s just about learning, the players have to learn, we have to learn. I have to learn with the players, how do I get the best out of them? How can I get this team to score goals? How can I make them be more free and creative? How can I release the shackles where they have the freedom to go out and have shots and score goals?
“Those are things that me and the coaching staff have to look at. What have we done wrong and what can we do better from the coaching staff point of view, and I’m hoping that the girls are doing the same thing, they’re watching the video thinking ‘what can they do better?’
“If we’re all thinking the same thing, then we will get better with hard work.”
Watford Women vs Lewes FC kicks off at 3pm on Sunday, 13 February.