Cup focus for Staniforth
Captain looking for a good cup run
Sunderland Ladies have made a strong start in the league and currently sit third in the FAWSL 1 table, but with the focus now switching to the Continental Cup competition, captain Lucy Staniforth is looking for even better performances.
Sunderland have won two out of their first three matches and are hot on the heels of league leaders Chelsea and Manchester City. Despite this the club is still viewed as underdogs by many, a label that according to Staniforth the team uses to their benefit.
Durham v SAFC
“I think as a group we thrive on being seen as underdogs and actually produce our best performances when the odds are against us,” said Staniforth. “We’ve got a strong mentality which I think proves hard for most teams to play against. I think we’ve still got our best performances ahead of us as we’re always looking to improve but we pride ourselves on being a team who are difficult to play against and can also produce moments of quality going forward.”
This week Sunderland start their Continental Cup campaign with a local derby match at WSL2 side Durham who will prove a tough test for the Lady Black Cats after a similar start to their own league campaign.
“It’s a different test for both teams coming into this game,” said Staniforth. “We played Durham in pre-season and we know what they’re about. We’ve had a few additions since that game while also getting Kiera Ramshaw back from injury so hopefully we can cause them a few problems that they might not be expecting.
“In a derby match form sometimes goes out the window and it’s about who wants it more on the night. I know we’ll be right up for it.”
This season there are no draws in the Continental Cup group stages and if the match is level after 90 minutes it will go straight to penalties.
“It should be a good game for the fans, as a spectator I always enjoy watching penalties so I’m sure it’ll add to the excitement.
“We’ve got a good chance to progress in the Conti Cup as two teams go through and we’re one of only two WSL 1 teams in the group. It’s great to play in as many games as possible so the further we can go in all cups, the better.”
Tickets for the match are available here https://sales.webticketmanager.com//default.aspx?companyid=997&eventid=13619