Lady Black Cats face Belles in Continental Cup

First published in Sport

SUNDERLAND Ladies head coach Claire Robinson is hoping her side will have benefitted from a 12-day break when they face fellow WSL 2 title contenders Doncaster Rovers Belles at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Lady Black Cats haven’t had a game since their 6-0 defeat to reigning WSL 1 champions Liverpool on May 3, but they are back in action in the Continental Cup this evening.

Before the break, Robinson’s team enjoyed an impressive start to life in the WSL and were on a four-game unbeaten streak until they lost on Merseyside.

Sunderland return to league action on Sunday when they host London Bees before a trip to Watford proceeds another, longer, break of four weeks. Robinson admits the gap between games isn’t ideal given the momentum they have created, but she hopes her side will have benefitted from either rest or being away representing their countries.

“I think you’ve got to look at it from both sides,” Robinson said. “It’s nice to have a bit of time to reflect on how things have gone so far, but you also want to keep that momentum going.

“After the Liverpool game, we wanted to have a game straight away so we could address what went wrong there, but sometimes you do need a rest, especially after the run of games we had at the start of the season.”

Doncaster are currently unbeaten in the league and Continental Cup, including an impressive 2-1 win over Manchester City, and with the sides locked at the top of WSL 2, Robinson believes tonight’s game will provide the perfect backdrop for when they meet in the league in July.

She said: “Doncaster will be a challenge. They still have the squad they had in WSL 1 last year. It’s a chance to have a look at each other before we meet in the league and for us to see how they play.

“It will be a similar test to Reading and we managed to get the points there.”

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