In his latest column, Liverpool Ladies manager Scott Rogers looks ahead to Sunday's SSE Women's FA Cup quarter-final tie with Chelsea, which takes place at Prescot Cables FC (2pm GMT kick-off).
We return to action after quite a long lay-off when we take on Chelsea and we can’t wait to get back on the pitch again. In fact, due to the international break, we haven’t had a game since our win over Sunderland on February 21. In the women's game you do get long breaks so we are used to that now. We had two good results before the break and hopefully we can continue our good form. This is a quarter-final tie, we are at home, and despite us missing a few key players we believe in ourselves and are confident we can do well and make it really tough for Chelsea.
I do feel arguably we got the toughest draw in the FA Cup. We know this is a massive challenge for us but it’s one I feel we are up to. We want to play against the best teams in England and test ourselves against the best in Europe - and arguably Chelsea are just that. Most of their players are senior internationals, they have made themselves one of the powerhouses in football, so an exciting challenge for us. Nobody outside our camp expects much from us on Sunday, so that’s a good thing because the pressure is all on them. We can go out and enjoy the game and we are looking forward to this challenge. We have got an idea of what we want to do in the game and if we can execute that I really do feel we have enough quality in our dressing room to beat anyone on our day.
Unfortunately we will be without some key players on Sunday. Bethany England, who has been in great form for us in front of goal, can’t play because she is on loan from Chelsea, so that is a blow. Niamh Charles isn’t ready to return and our captain Gemma Bonner is still out. Ellie Fletcher is still out, Casey Stoney has now retired and sadly Amy Turner has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Amy had minor surgery to remove loose cartilage from her knee. It’s a setback for us and for Amy but it’s not as big a problem as the last injury she had. At least now we know when we get her back it will be a fully fit Amy Turner, who will be a great asset for our team. To be fair when Amy came back she was playing quite well for us despite having this little problem, so imagine the player we are going to have back when she is 100 per cent fully fit. Injuries are part of football and you have to accept these things and, as I say, it opens doors for our younger players.
Despite our obvious setbacks I believe in our development squad and we have some big talents who will not let us down. The likes of Lucy Roberts and Naomi Hartley have both played at centre-half for us and have both done very well. The players who are available to play on Sunday are working extremely hard. They are training really well and we have an idea of what we want to do on Sunday, and it’s just about us executing that plan. If we get it right then we know we are capable of causing problems for any team in this league.
Sunday’s game will be a different venue for us and we are grateful to Prescot Cables FC for allowing us to stage this cup tie at their Valerie Park ground. As always our fantastic supporters can make a big difference. Our supporters understand what we are trying to do here and they are realistic. They know this is a developing game and they are backing our long-term project. They are a vital part of that plan, very important. They are our 12th player and they really do give us an extra edge. We never take that support for granted.
Thanks for your support,