Cardiff City FC Women host Cardiff Met Women at Cardiff International Sports Stadium in the Welsh Premier Women’s League on Sunday, February 17th – 2pm kick-off.
The Bluebirds currently sit third in the WPWL standings, level on points with second place Swansea City and eight points behind this weekend’s visitors. The sides last met in the WPWL League Cup Semi-Final at Cyncoed Campus on January 27th and City broke the deadlock, although the hosts went on to win 2-1.
“It’ll be a tough game,” began Joel. “We only played Cardiff Met a couple of weeks ago in the League Cup, but I’d imagine that it’s going to be the same kind of fixture and our approach is about winning the game, so we’ve got to be positive.
“We were certainly the better team in the first-half last time out and took our foot off the gas in the second-half. They’re the kind of team that would rise to being 1-0 down at half-time and they performed better than us in the second-half, which ultimately won them the game.
“Playing Met home or away is always going to be tough, but we’ve got to have a go at them and look to get something out of it. They’re a few points ahead of us and two places above us, so with regards to league position, we need to push on and get three points.
“As a group of coaches, we’ve looked at the remaining fixtures and know that each one is different, but we’ve got targets for them all. It’s quite tight at the moment between us and Swansea City, so goal difference could be something that comes in later on, although to finish high in this league we’ve got to be taking points off the teams around us and Met are one of them.”
Last time out, the Bluebirds defeated Rhyl 6-1 in the FAW Women’s Cup Quarter-Final and Joel continued: “It was good for the confidence, but it’s going to be a different challenge this weekend and no disrespect to Rhyl, but there’s a big difference in league position between them and Cardiff Met. However, there’s a difference in league position between us and Cardiff Met too, so hopefully we can lessen that on Sunday.”
Zoe Atkins played her first 90 minutes for the Club against the Lakesiders, scoring her second goal in just three appearances and Lucy McDonough scored on her return from a lengthy injury. The manager concluded: “Zoe’s just chipping away at game time each week and trying to get up to playing 90 minutes, but I don’t think she’ll be able to play the full match against Met, despite her probably wanting to. It’s about managing her, so that we can maximise her from now until the end of the season, so we don’t want to give her 90 minutes on Sunday and not be able to use her for a couple of weeks.
“Lucy McDonough coming back gives us something different off the bench with her pace: she’s rapid and you can’t coach that, so she’s a different option and I think we’re in a good position going into Sunday’s game.”
Mollie Jones has made 12 appearances so far this season and gave her thoughts ahead of the Archers encounter, adding: “I think we owe them one and we should’ve got more out of the previous two games, but everyone’s up for it and hopefully we’ll get a result. The two losses hit home with all of us, so making sure we don’t feel that again and winning is going to be the main thought for everyone going into the game.
“We’ve played pretty well against Cardiff Met this season and have just been unlucky, so hopefully we get a result this time. The team spirit is high, especially after the win last weekend and I think everyone’s got a bit more confidence, so it’s going to be a good game.”