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Women End Season Strongly

Liam Gilbert reflects on United Women’s post-season schedule as they prepare for final game

20 May 2021

Oxford United Women Manager Liam Gilbert has been reflecting on his side’s excellent post-season winning streak, with a 1-0 win over West Brom the latest impressive victory.

“Our recent form just shows the mentality of the team; we always want to carry on winning games,” Liam said.

“West Brom were a very well organised team and they made things difficult for us at times, but even though there were a couple of things which we could’ve done a bit better, we played some really good football at times.

“West Brom have some very talented individuals and on another day does that game finish 1-0? Probably not, but that’s football for you. It was a nice challenge and I’ve been trying to organise a friendly with them for the last year. With a bit of luck, we’ll be playing them again soon.”

It was The U’s RTC graduate Carly Johns who struck the winning goal last Sunday, adding to the young forward’s two goals in United’s previous fixture. However, Johns’ fantastic form has come as no surprise to Liam:

“It’s easy to look at Carly’s performances now and see the great form that she’s in, but Carly has been building towards this for the last couple of years. Her attitude and application is always fantastic; she always wants to learn and to take things on board. We’re now at a stage in her development where she’s regularly showing that in matches, and as we move forwards we’re only going to see more and more of that.”

Likewise, Brittany Jeal’s industrious efforts against West Brom demonstrated the success of post-season in providing opportunities for players; the midfielder proving to be a mainstay of United’s line-ups over the course of recent games.

“Brittany has been really unlucky this year, breaking her wrist in pre-season and then after the second lockdown she had a hamstring injury,” Liam said. “She’s made a fantastic step up into this environment, and she has the same mentality as Carly – she always wants to learn and improve.

“These friendlies have been fantastic in giving players who haven’t had as many minutes in the season, because of injuries or other players playing really well, the chance to seize the opportunity.”

Up next for Liam’s side is Wimbledon this weekend, United Women’s penultimate post-season fixture.

“I’m looking forward to this Sunday’s game; I know Wimbledon are a good team. We played them in pre-season, and they gave us a really good game, so I’m expecting the same this weekend.

“We’ve challenged ourselves in post-season and this weekend’s game will lead nicely into the Nottingham Forest game the weekend after, where we are looking forward to welcoming fans back.”

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