Carlton Fairweather says Sunderland Ladies are happy to be underdogs for Sunday’s crucial Women’s Super League 1 clash at Manchester City.
Both sides need maximum points to maintain their chase of leaders Chelsea.
The Londoners are favourites, sitting on 23 points (goal difference 11), with the Lady Black Cats on 20 (7) and City 18 (5), though the third-placed team having a game in hand over their two rivals.
City, who boast two wins over Sunderland this season, start as favourites in the third v second match which will be televised live on BT Sport.
The pressure is on one of the planet’s richest clubs – while Sunderland would love to lift the title, City expect it.
“Obviously they are favourites with their squad and the money they’ve invested,” said Sunderland boss Fairweather.
“But they are three points behind Chelsea so the pressure is on them to catch them up as quickly as they can.
“We will be the underdogs, which suits us to be honest.
“We don’t have that pressure on us, we’ll be looking to go out and put in a good performance and let’s see where that might take us.”
Fairweather has given his players a light workload this week following an exhausting run of league and cup fixtures.
The head coach will do his level best to keep the pressure off his players, though he does acknowledge the importance of the outcome. “If we want to be up there [competing] with the top sides [for the title], it’s a must-win game,” said the former Wimbledon star.
“Man City are in the same boat. With three games to go, every match is going to be vital for the leading sides who are in with a shout of winning the league or getting into Europe.”