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Lisa’s Lionesses ready for put Sheffield defeat behind them

Lisa Fallon, First Team Manager of London City Lionesses

Lisa Fallon and her London City Lionesses team will look to put last weekend’s defeat to Sheffield United behind them when they take on Crystal Palace tonight.

The club’s Dublin manager told The Irish World: “The plan is to go there and put in a really solid performance and get the three points.

“They are all big games at this level. Every game and every opposition will present a really different challenge.

“We are all so focused on going out there Saturday night and getting a really good performance

“We know that the game against Crystal Palace will be a tough challenge. We need to be ready but I have no doubts we’ll get the performance that we plan for.”

Attacking midfielder Liz Ejupi adds: “I think it’s going to be a tough game, a big test against Palace. It’s a local rivalry but I think everyone is up for it.

“It was a tight game at the weekend. If we had got a goal here or there it could have been a completely different game but that’s football. We just want to put it right this weekend.

“We’ve got to respect every single team this year and just play our game, I think if we keep working on our game we can be really hard to beat this year.”

Lisa’s Lionesses were beaten 1-4 by Neil Redfearn’s Sheffield United in their first game of the FA Women’s Championship. This was Lisa’s first competitive game after only taking charge in May.

Looking back at that performance, Lisa says: “Everybody was disappointed but it’s really important that we don’t carry that into this week. We use it as motivation.

“We know there was a lot of stuff that we did really well in that game and there was obviously things that didn’t quite come off but that kind of stuff will come the more we play together.

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Liz Ejupi of London City Lionesses

“There was some aspects of the performance I was really pleased with, obviously some areas for development. We’re a work-in-progress and we have started now. We know what direction we’re going in. We are all very focused on that and Crystal Palace on Saturday is an opportunity for us to put another building block in place.

“The score certainly didn’t reflect the game. We know that there was aspects of our performance that didn’t quite click on the day but we will be very confident that will change come Saturday night.”

Although it is early in Lisa’s tenure, there is no mistaking the club wants to gain promotion to the Women’s Super League, the top tier of female football in England.

Lisa says: “The aim of the club in the longer term is obviously to be a club that competes in the WSL but obviously this is only our second year in existence. It is a young club. We have got a relatively young squad. In order to build something, you have to put really, really strong foundations in place. That does take time.

“I think from a team perspective we focus on every single game week by week. I know it’s a bit of a cliche but it’s the only way.”

Liz Ejupi adds: “You want to be playing at the top. We have got players in this team that have been there, their aspirations are to get back to that league.

“We need to be thinking everyday at training, ‘How can I improve?’ And that’s going to make the team improve. This season is going to be tough but we’re going to push to win it and see where that goes.

“We are a new side and we have got new players, a new coach, a new manager, everything but we have the quality to make this work and I think that will show.”

Alli Murphy got her first Republic of Ireland call-up last week.

Last week two of Lisa’s new signing Alli Murphy and Hayley Nolan were named in Vera Pauw’s final Republic of Ireland squad for a crunch top of the table clash with Germany.

Lisa hopes this is just the start of her ambitious squad getting recognition: “I want to see all of our players kick on and reach the highest level they can. I know there’s quite a few others in the group I have International aspirations.

“We have a lot of players who have been involved with England underage teams and they will look to get themselves into the mix.

“I know we’ve got a really ambitious group here and a group that is hard-working and understands what it takes to be a top level professional. I’ve no doubt that this is just the start and we will see many more this current group kick on to international level for sure.”

Attacking midfielder Liz says she was excited by the quality of both new arrivals although she hasn’t got the chance to play with Hayley too much just yet.

“I remember looking at a video of Alli on YouTube and being excited to play with her. Now in training we all gel, we all get on. We’re starting to create partnerships together. Hayley’s a great player. They’re great characters. They’re good fun.

“They must be feeling on top of the world. I’m excited for Ally. I’m excited for Hayley. Hayley’s been there before but this is Alli’s first time and that’s great for her.”

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