Sunderland boss tries to keep players grounded after thrashing league leaders Chelsea

Brooke Chaplen gets a shot away for Sunderland AFC Ladies
Brooke Chaplen gets a shot away for Sunderland AFC Ladies
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Sunderland Ladies boss Carlton Fairweather is looking to keep his side’s feet firmly on the ground despite watching them thrash league leaders Chelsea 4-0.

The demolition job at Eppleton CW leaves the Lady Black Cats just two points behind the Londoners in Women’s Super League One.

Team huddle before Sunderland Ladies beat Chelsea 4-0

Team huddle before Sunderland Ladies beat Chelsea 4-0

But Fairweather says his side can’t have title ambitions just yet, not until they are mathematically safe from the drop.

He knows expectations have risen dramatically as a result of his in-form side’s impressive displays, with the national spotlight beginning to fall on Sunderland and beaming Fairweather was full of praise for his side.

But he is keen to keep them grounded.

Asked when do they start believing they could be title challengers, Fairweather told the Echo: “Not yet.

The result is down to hard work and sticking together.

Carlton Fairweather, SAFC Ladies boss

“Not until we have made sure that we are mathematically safe, then we will look at it again. Expectations have risen but we need to keep our feet on the ground.

“At the end of the day it is making sure we do the right things to get us to where we need to be.

“I probably didn’t expect that second half performance but it was one of them where as long as we stayed in the game then we were always going to create chances.

“Having a big crowd in really helps, they are getting behind the girls and it spurs them on.

“We have had around the 1,000 mark for the past few games and that is great.”

A total of 1,004 came through the door at Eppleton CW and they went home happy after a stunning second-half performance, which saw Beth Mead hit a hat-trick and Abby Holmes add a late fourth, her cross looping into the net.

Fairweather added: “It will be one of those games were people look at the result and think ‘where has that come from?!’

“But we had a game plan and played really well, we pressured them in certain areas, dropped off and defended well. We had some good chances and took those chances. We grew stronger as the game wore on and all credit to the players.

“Beth’s finishing was excellent, I’m pleased for her and the team as a whole. I think Abby’s was definitely a cross though!

“The result is down to hard work and sticking together.”