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Brighouse set sights on Sunderland

Brighouse Town have the chance to take on Championship opponents in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup this Sunday when they play host to Sunderland in the Third Round.

Manager Rob Mitchell is looking forward to the challenge and he told Women’s Soccer Scene: "We have enjoyed competing in the FA Cup this season and will be working really hard this week to ensure we have the best possible chance of continuing our journey.

“We know just how difficult the task ahead of is and Sunderland are a fantastic club with an unbelievable manager and group of players, but we want to progress just as much as they do so will give it our all on the day.

“The FA Cup can throw up the odd upset from time to time, we hope Sunday will be one of those days where things go well for us, but we know it won't be easy, we will have to fight for every ball and create some moments of success as well as being solid hard to beat and committed from the first minute till the full time whistle.

“We know the quality they possess and the fact they compete in the division above excites us, knowing we have very little pressure or expectations to progress hopefully gives us a little edge, they will be expected to win and win well. Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from their last result and hopefully that will weigh on their shoulders if we can stay in the game for long enough, the panic and fear of losing may come in to play.

“We will be focusing on ourselves and working on what we are good at to hopefully expose them a little, we will also be looking at where we need to improve, not just for this game but for future games too, this will be a major test for my inexperienced side but one that will hopefully help us to grow as a squad for future challenges, who knows.. we may have the opportunity to look forward to the draw on Monday, but if not, I just hope we have no regrets and give it our all on the day."

"Sunderland will pose a real threat to us, we know the quality they have and can cause us problems, but I feel that we can cause a few for them ourselves,” added striker Leah Embley. “We are going to work really hard and try win the game, these are the moments we play for, the opportunity to come up against the best teams in England in the most famous cup competition in the world is something that excites me as a player.

“I just hope we do ourselves justice and don't have any regrets, I know we have a couple of players missing out due to injury, but they will be there with us on the day to reinforce the togetherness we have as a group, collectively we will do our best and hopefully that will be enough on the day."

Brighouse captain Annabelle Cass said: "I was in the squad the last time we played against Sunderland at this stage, at the time they were three divisions above us and the fourth best placed team in the country. We didn't get a touch of the ball and got played off the park by some unbelievable footballers, but we have come a long way since then and now find ourselves just one division below - the gap is slightly smaller now and we are confident we can do a lot better than last time out. Our players are buzzing for the game and will be up for it once the whistle blows."