Today is our first game as part of the #TakeAStand campaign. We are proud to support Kick It Out’s calls for action in the fight against discrimination in football.
Our goalkeeper Chloe Morgan speaks excellently on the matter, and I urge you all to go and find the various interviews she has conducted. We must all combat all forms of discrimination and we must report any abuse and then educate offenders.
We welcome Jon and his new-look Leicester City squad to Hayes Lane today after a busy summer for them, transitioning from part-time to full-time. This has given Jon and Leicester City Women the platform to put together a squad that can challenge for the title. And that is reflected in the fact they are unbeaten in the league so far this campaign, including an impressive victory over Liverpool last time out.
The signing of several Women’s Super League players, along with capturing some of the best Championship talents from last season, has given them the opportunity to bring together a fantastic squad which is going to make today a very tough encounter. But it is one we are prepared for and will make it as difficult as possible for them to leave with maximum points.
It is hard to draw comparisons from last season’s two games against them, with both sides winning the away game. And just like Leicester, we ourselves have had a big squad overhaul.
We come in to the match in a much better place than our last game at Hayes Lane. Since the defeat to Blackburn Rovers, we have had two impressive wins and a hard-fought loss last week to Durham.
Our first win of the season, in the emphatic manner in which we did against London Bees, had been coming. The heartbreak of late equalisers against us in previous matches, despite dominating, was finally overcome in that 90 minutes.
The Conti Cup game vs Lewes re-emphasised what I already knew: this squad’s strength in depth is the best I have had during my time with the club. And this was epitomised by the fact that the summer signings in the final third have had an incredible impact on Bianca Baptiste and Cherelle Khassal, with the pair having seven goals between them already this season – more than their totals for the 2019/20 campaign. The competition for places we have is a manager’s nightmare but a welcomed one.
We yet again run-out at our home without our incredible fan base in the stands. But we all hope that your return isn’t far around the corner. The club, the players and I are fully supportive of the #LetsFansIn movement.
We will do our best to give you something to cheer about this afternoon, from wherever you are.
This Sunday's matchday programme is free for all to read below.