Bristol Academy captain Jemma Rose eyes big finish

Thursday 25 Sep 2014
Jemma Rose (left) in action against Manchester City

Bristol Academy captain Jemma Rose says her side are targeting a strong finish to The FA Women’s Super League 1 season – starting against Manchester City at home on Sunday.

After pushing Liverpool for the title last season, Bristol have failed to match those heights during this campaign – a run of five defeats in their last six games has meant they have slipped to sixth in the table.

Their latest defeat saw them throw away a 2-0 lead as Kelly Smith scored a 16-minute hat-trick to inspire Arsenal to a 4-3 win.

Bristol Academy v Man City

2pm, Sunday 28 September 2014
Stoke Gifford Stadium

Bristol will leapfrog Manchester City should they replicate their win at the start of the season, although Rose believes they will be facing a much changed outfit this time around.

She said: “It has been a bit of an up and down season for us, which we expected with a new manager who was going to shake the club up.

“But we have worked hard for each other and are optimistic about our chances for next year. Our aim is to secure a strong and positive end to this year first.

“Manchester City are now a team that are training full time and know each other inside out in terms of how they want to play.

“They have definitely improved a lot over the season as they started a bit shaky with it being their first year in the WSL.

“They are in many ways a completely different side with a different style to the team we played in our first game this season.

“They will want to push on like ourselves and Arsenal to get up into fourth or even third place this year.”

In contrast to Bristol, Manchester City have lost just one of their last five games in all competitions and a win would see them climb above Arsenal into fourth.

And despite having The FA WSL Continental Cup Final clash against the Gunners on the horizon, manager Nick Cushing insists his side won’t be getting ahead of themselves.

He said: “We prepare properly for every game, and it’s important to keep focused on the league until the end of the season.

“We want to finish as high as we can, and we set up to win every game – that was our aim at the start of the season, and although it wasn’t possible that doesn’t change now.

“Every game will be tough, we are aware of Bristol’s threats and we are realistic, we know beating them will give us a good chance of moving further ahead of them in the table. That will be a real focus for us.”

By FA Staff