Black Cats boss wary of threat from bottom-placed Watford.
Sunderland Ladies v Watford Ladies
The FA Women's Premier League
Sunday 30 October 2011
Click here for FAWPL table and fixtures
Sunderland Ladies manager Mick Mulhern thinks winning the Women's Premier League this season would be a bigger achievement than last year's title glory.
The Black Cats clinched their first major honour last term when they finished seven points clear of second-place Nottingham Forest to secure the League crown.
But Mulhern thinks the division, which has been extended from eight to ten teams, is much tougher this time around - an opinion demonstrated by a series of different league leaders already this season.
Leeds currently occupy top spot with Coventry, who have played twice more than Sunderland, a point behind them in second.
Mulhern's side now sit third, ahead of Sunday's visit of rock-bottom Watford, which will bring up the halfway point in their 18-game season, but could go back to the top if they win.
And if Sunderland finish top of the pile at the end of the season, the manager thinks it would eclipse last season's historic achievement.
"It would be a bigger achievement, but we're not looking that far ahead," he told TheFA.com. "We know it's going to be tough and we'll have to wait and see. We'd love to win it just like everyone else.
"I think to win it once you've obviously got to be at a certain level but now we're up there and everyone is targeting us, I suppose to win it a second time would be better than the first.
"We're finding it harder this season because winning it last year has automatically made us a big target and we've had to react to the fact that everyone does want to beat us. It certainly makes it tougher for us."
Watford's position at the foot of the table, with just one point from their first nine games, and the fact that Sunderland thrashed them 8-2 on the opening day of the season, might suggest that Sunday's clash could be something of a non-contest.
But Mulhern disagrees. He added: "I was impressed with Watford on the first day of the season. We scored a lot of goals but they were organised, played good football and finished well. I don't think there's a weak team in this league and that goes for Watford.
"They'll pick up points this season without a doubt. My players have to be aware of complacency because they're a threat."