Underdogs Sunderland ready for Bristol test

Rachel Furness
Rachel Furness
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RACHEL Furness says Sunderland Ladies will carry the role of underdogs throughout the Women’s Super League 1 season.

The underdogs have already shown their bite by winning at champions Liverpool and scaring the life out of the top of WSL1’s rich-list Manchester City.

I know they have lost a few players but they have also brought some new talent in.

Now the Lady Black Cats are in the position of starting tomorrow evening’s match against Bristol Academy as favourites for the three points at Hetton Centre (kick-off 6.30pm).

The WSL1 table is in its infancy with Carlton Fairweather’s side fifth on three points with tomorrow’s holding up the rest on zero.

Only two games have gone and Furness, while confident Sunderland can beat Bristol, will not take this game, or any, for granted.

“Bristol have had a tough couple of matches to start with, Chelsea and Arsenal,” the 26-year-old told the Echo.

“They’ve come up against two well-established WSL1 forces straight away.

“Bristol have been involved in the Champions League as well, so that may have affected them.

“I know they have lost a few players but they have also brought some new talent in.

“When that happens, any team takes a bit longer for the players to get used to the set up and the style of play.

“Bristol will be a tough game – we won’t take this game for granted.

“Every match for us is going to be like a cup final.

“I think we’ll be underdogs in every match – we’re the new girls who’ve just been promoted – but I think we’ll really thrive on that.”

A first home win would take Sunderland into the top half of the table, for 24 hours at least, ahead of the Sunday fixtures.

But not only would it strengthen morale, it would establish a six-point gap with Bristol.

Sunderland have played some bright football, especially against City, which followed on from the 2-1 win at Liverpool.

“This is a tough game tomorrow night, but we’ll take confidence from our last two matches,” said Furness.

“We did have a good start, I think we shocked a few teams when we got that result at Liverpool.

“We have confidence and belief in each other and we are a close-knit team which is an important strength of ours.

“I think we can compete with all the teams and hopefully results will follow.”

H Admission prices are as follows: On the Gate: Adults £5; SAFC season card holders: £2.50; On-line and voucher price: £4; U21/O65: £2.50; Adult and 1 Child: £6; Family Ticket: 2 Adults 2 Children: £10