Sunderland star wants win before break

Brooke Chaplen

Brooke Chaplen

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SUNDERLAND hope to turn chances into goals when they play their final Women’s Super League match before the mid-season break.

The Lady Black Cats face Birmingham City at the Hetton Centre tomorrow (kick-off 6.30pm) before the women’s game takes a two-month break for the World Cup.

It’s a good sign that we are creating chances against some very good sides.

And attacking talent Brooke Chaplen says Sunderland are looking to excel at both ends of the park.

Carlton Fairweather’s side are creating plenty of opportunties but ultimately, the stats that matter are goals scored and conceded.

The last two outings have ended in heavy defeats, 4-1 at second-placed Arsenal and a 4-2 set-back at Notts County, who are third.

Those losses have left Sunderland fifth ahead of the visit of seventh-placed Birmingham.

There is little wrong with the Lady Black Cats going forward; they could easily have been three or four up at County before the hosts had even scored.

But they need to convert more into goals as Chaplen admits.

“It’s a good sign that we are creating chances against some very good sides,” said Chaplen.

“We probably just need to be more consistent than we have been. We need to keep creating chances but taking more than we have been.

“We’re working hard to make the openings and we know it’s not just about creating but finishing as well.

“The football has been good, we may be just need that bit more composure in front of goal.”

But Chaplen says their focus is on all areas of the park and following conceding two fours on the bounce they are looking to tighten up.

“We need to work on our defence as a team,” she said.

“We need to stay more compact and hopefully work towards a clean sheet.”

Compact could be a watchword for tomorrow evening’s game as ‘clean sheet’ could be incorporated into Birmingham City’s name.

The Blues Ladies have been involved in three goalless draws and their other two matches have totalled just four goals and only one from them!

Chaplen, though, says that the Lady Black Cats should not be fooled by City’s record.

“Birmingham have a good squad,” said the 26-year-old. “They don’t concede many and all their matches have been very tight.

“I would say they are under-achieving by their standards. They have not picked up as many points as they would have liked or hoped to.

“But I don’t think their league place is a true representation of their side. It will be a hard game and they are a tough team to break down.”