Rafferty: We have the ability to break down tough Brighton
Claire Rafferty is expecting a tough test this weekend as West Ham United travel south to take on Brighton & Hove Albion women in the Women’s Super League.
Last weekend saw the Irons earn a massive three points at home to Bristol City, with Alisha Lehmann and Jane Ross getting on the scoresheet.
Now the Irons face another big test against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend, with the Seagulls currently sitting in ninth place and six points behind the Hammers.
Rafferty told whufc.com: “Hope Powell will have them very organised. She’s a very experienced manager, having taken England very far, and I think she’ll install the same ethos in her players at Brighton.
We’ve had a few ups and downs and we have to remember that we are good enough and if we battle hard, we can get anything out of games.
“Having played them last season in the cup with Chelsea, it took a while for us to break them down because of how organised they are, so we’ll be expecting that. They’ve got some experienced players, they’ve got a big strong forward up front, so they’ve got some threats. In training we’re working on how to nullify these threats.”
A win this Sunday could take the Irons up to sixth in the table and give them strong momentum going in to the final Women’s Super League game of 2018, against Yeovil Town.
Rafferty is eager for the Irons to claim a second successive league victory.
She added: “I think it would just mean that everything we are doing is just starting to click and it would just let us go in to the Christmas break comfortable.
“We just need to get away from the bottom end of the table and start competing with the middle of the table. We don’t want to go in to the Christmas break worrying if we’re going to stay up or not.”
Rafferty made a return to the team against Bristol City last weekend, after injury forced her to spend time on the side-lines. The defender helped guide the Irons to a clean sheet.
The defender conitinued: “It’s a relief to get back to winning ways and I feel we’re creating a nice home atmosphere as well. I feel we perform a lot better at home, now we just need to try and take that in to the away games.
“I’m buzzing to get back in the starting XI and then to help the team get the win. We’ve had a bit of inconsistency with the players available and it’s nice to get everyone back fit and make the team more competitive with regards to selection. Getting the win was obviously a nice bonus to the day.
“Going in to the Bristol game we were aware that there were three or four games that were crucial for us to get maximum points. I think stepping up on Sunday against Bristol, against a team who have got some great results against top teams already, infused a bit of belief in us that we are good enough.
“We’ve had a few ups and downs and we have to remember that we are good enough and if we battle hard, we can get anything out of games.”