Former Sunderland striker Beth Mead is hoping her new side Arsenal can hit top form under a new manager when the two clubs meet tomorrow.
The Joe Montemurro era gets under way in earnest at Arsenal this weekend as attention turns back to league action in the FA Women’s Super League.
The Gunners appointed the 48-year-old Australian in midweek and Montemurro comes in to replace Pedro Martinez Losa, who departed the club after three years in charge in October.
Arsenal’s form has been scratchy but Mead, who has scored in her last four games, says there are reasons behind the performances.
She said: “I think Arsenal is a club known for free-flowing football, playing the ball and being calm on it, and I think we’ve been doing the opposite of that at the moment.
“I think we need to dig deep and find that again to really bring out the performances.
“I think it has been tough as we’ve been trying out different personnel, as well as different formations.
“The girls have been tying their best to get used to it but I think we need some more consistency within everyone in the team, as well as in the quality on the pitch.
“I am sure we’ll be able to bring that quality back out again in the next game against Sunderland.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland skipper Lucy Staniforth is relishing the chance to take on one of the women’s games big teams.
The 25-year-old midfielder said: “It’s always good to test yourselves against the best teams because that’s where we want to be at.
“We had a great contest against Durham where we got a 0-0 draw and we want to throw everything at Arsenal and get something off them.
“We want to test ourselves and this is another great opportunity.
“It’s a great chance for myself too, as well as the rest of the team, so we’re really looking forward to it.”
* England face Bosnia & Herzegovina in a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier at Walsall FC on 24 November, KO 7.05pm. Buy tickets (£10 Adult/£1 Under-18) at www.thefa.com/tickets