Sunderland Ladies’ Furness not daunted by Chelsea

Rachel Furness.
Rachel Furness.
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Sunderland might be taking on the best team in women’s football, but there will be no inferiority complex in the home dressing room.

The Lady Black Cats, fresh from a dramatic 2-1 victory over Notts County last Sunday, tonight welcome Women’s Super League 1 favourites to the Epplewton CW ground (kick-off 6.30pm).

“We’ll go into the Chelsea match fully believing we can get something out of it.

Beating County was a great result, but a showdown with the Blues is totally different.

The leaders are unbeaten and five points clear at the top and have conceded just three goals. And the Londoners bring an international-laden sqaud, England’s World Cup stars Fran Kirby, Katie Chapman and Eniola Aluko plus Korean superstar Ji So-Yun.

But midfielder Rachel Furness says Sunderland will not let the Blues have it their own way this evening.

“If we went into games with no confidence then we’d already be beaten,” said the Washington girl.

“We’ll go into the Chelsea match fully believing we can get something out of it.

“We are good defensively, we’re hard to break down and we’ve got an on-form striker.

“Beth Mead is in brilliant form so anything can happen on the day. If we’re well-organised and take our chances then we can do it.

“To get three points on our first game back after the mid-season break was a good statement from us.

“It was great to set the ball rolling again after the good first half of the season we had.

“Notts County are through to the FA Cup final and are flying in the league so it was important to get something.”

Sunderland will need to make one change tonight with defender Hayley Sharp, who scored the opener in just 91 seconds last Sunday, missing out with a knee injury, with Tori Williams set to start.

Supersub Abbey Joice has given head coach Carlton Fairweather a selection headache after her game-changing appearance against County and is knocking on the door for a starting spot.