Sunderland Ladies boss Fairweather ready for tough Manchester City challenge

Carlton Fairweather.
Carlton Fairweather.

Carlton Fairweather says he will be happy to get Sunderland Ladies trip to Manchester City “out the way”.

But that will not stop the head coach looking to get a result at the Women’s Super League 1 leaders tomorrow (kick-off 2pm).

The Lady Black Cats have endured a difficult summer, losing seven of their 11 matches and conceding 27 goals, including four last Sunday against Arsenal.

So a visit to the City Academy Stadium is hardly one to relish, especially given the title favourites won 5-1 at Notts County on the day Sunderland were succumbing to the Gunners.

“I’m glad to be getting Man City out the way,” said Fairweather, whose team then end the season with four vital fixtures against Doncaster (A), Notts County (A & H) and Birmingham City (H).

“We realised we had two hard games in the space of a week and I thought if we could come out of them with a point I’d be happy.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game as we know at Man City.

“But if we apply ourselves well, are organised and do the right things the we have a chance.

“We’ve had a good week in training and we are ready for the challenge.

“I saw the goals from Man City’s win at Notts County.

“County are a good side with a lot of England internationals and even they were made to struggle.

“Our task is difficult but it’s one we have to be up for.

“If we are to be an established top flight club then these are the challenges we are faced with and ones in which we have to give good accounts of ourselves.”

Sunderland lost 1-0 at City last year when the season was coming to a climax – both sides were in title contention, only for Chelsea to take the crown.

The Lady Black Cats pushed the Sky Blues all the way but could not get past Karen Bardsley, the England keeper making saves from Brooke Chaplen, Abbey Joice and Beth Mead.

City have moved up a level since last season - they are the division’s only unbeaten side and have conceded just two goals in nine matches.

“It was disappointing to lose at City last season,” said Fairweather. “We created chances and we let in a sloppy goal.

“We can’t afford to be giving goals away and we have to be tight tomorrow and when the chances come make sure we try to put them away.”

Sunderland welcome back Joice to the squad after missing the home loss to Arsenal.