Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:30PM UTC, Saturday, 10 March 2012
Paul Mortimer believes the Charlton women’s team should be confident, but not overly so, going into the FA Cup Fifth Round against Blackburn Rovers at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday.
The Addicks lost their first game of 2012 last weekend, going down 2-0 away to Tottenham in the London Cup semi final, but bounced back to beat QPR 3-2 in the League Cup midweek.
Coming off the back of such a good run of form, technical director Mortimer knows the Blackburn game will be difficult but is confident, especially with a couple of big players possibly returning.
He said: “Blackburn are a good side. They have experienced players who have played at a higher level and know what is what so it will be a tough game.
“I think that sometimes players look at statistics and that creeps into their mentality and it is almost like, ‘well if they are below them and we beat that team, we should beat this lot easily’.
“That is what I warn the girls against this week – make sure you are in the right frame of mind because, if you are not, you are going to get beat.
“I have to be honest, the Tottenham game apart the girls have been fantastic. Yes I give them a hard time but I am pleased with them. We have only lost one in 12 games, which is fantastic.
“The girls should be confident going into it, especially after the other day, being 2-0 down at half time and winning 3-2. They should be going into it flying.”
Fliss Gibbons returns from England under 19 duty, where she started two games out of three, while Gemma Bryan could be available after an ankle injury that has kept her sidelined for a couple of weeks.
Sinead Boyer is also likely to return, having been rested on Wednesday but Harley Bennett, Stef Simmons, Megan Chandler and Courteney Gibson have all picked up injuries which could see them out of the side this weekend.
Mortimer added: “Jenny Newman played the lone role up front and was magnificent [against QPR], and I was pleased for her but it is always nice to have your top goalscorer back because that is what frightens the opposition.
“If Gemma is fit, she will play and it is great to have Fliss back because the game against Spurs would have been different if we had Fliss or Gemma.
“The thing about them is, regardless of how they are playing or how the game is going, they will give 100 per cent. They don’t stop running and they never doubt themselves.
“But we have shown we can play without them too, that other players can step up and perform just as well so the squad is good.”
Charlton Athletic Women v Blackburn Rovers Ladies
FA Women’s Cup Fifth Round
Location: Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London, SE28 8NJ
When: Sunday 11 March
Kick off: 1400
Blackburn Rovers (Last Season):
FA Women’s Premier League National Division: 7th
FA Women’s Premier League Cup: 2nd Round (Lost 4-0 to Leicester City)
FA Women’s Cup: 4th Round (Lost 3-0 to Millwall)
18 March 2007, FA Cup: Away, Won 1-0: Natasha Dowie.
15 April 2007, League: Away, Lost 2-0.
28 October 2007, League: Away, Lost 6-0.
2 December 2007, League: Home, Lost 5-0.