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BEDFORD TARGETS CUP PROGRESSION

22 March 2013

Lydia Bedford is confident her side can progress against Portsmouth

Lydia Bedford is feeling confident ahead of the Ladies FA Premier League Cup match against Portsmouth.

The manager believes her side can progress after showing tremendous ability, fight and spirit last time out against Sunderland.  

Speaking before Sunday’s showdown at Havant & Waterlooville Bedford assured Pompey that the Bees are not just there to make up the numbers. 

“The main thing now for the girls is building for the future, we cannot get relegated so anything we get in the league is a bonus, it is the same with the cup but we always go out to win.

“We will give it our best shot and we will try and cause them problems. I know they are going to underestimate us and they think that they have a bye into the semi-final but that will not be the case.”

Sunday’s opponents beat Manchester City to set up a tie with the Bees and although they were Bedford’s preferred opponent she insists they would have been ready to take on either.

“We drew 2-2 with Portsmouth earlier this season and it was a game we could have won but against Manchester City we dropped points on both occasions.

“It gives us a confidence boost but we would have been prepared to face either. We have done our research and we watched them in the last round so we know exactly what they are about.” 

Despite only being in charge for a short period Bedford has incredible confidence within her side and at full strength she believes they can match anyone. 

“I think we can (win). You only have to look at the way we performed against Charlton and Sunderland when we were not at full strength.

“We were down to the bare bones in those matches but this weekend we have players in all areas of the pitch who can come on and make an impact. We will be very strong.”

One player will face a late fitness test but the rest of the squad are fighting fit and if a replacement is called upon Bedford has complete confidence in them. 

“We have one or two concerns ahead of the match but we will have a squad of sixteen available and be much stronger than when we took on Sunderland last weekend. 

“We have a lot of strength in depth right now and we have some very good young players coming into the squad from the centre of excellence so we are moving in the right direction.”

Last time out the Ladies were denied a point against league leaders Sunderland as the Black Cats secured a 1-0 win in the 80th minutes. Bedford however took nothing but positives. 

“To be in a position where we could have got a draw in the second-half is something we were not sure we could do.

“In the build-up we focussed on how to stop them playing and the players worked excellently together to ensure we frustrated them and competed against a top side.”

She added: “The biggest positive is that we had a game plan and we executed it. The goal we conceded was sloppy but they did not outplay us and if we had nicked a goal we could have won the game.”

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