Canberra United forward Katie Stengel has rubbished claims her side will come into their clash against the star-studded Melbourne City as underdogs on Sunday.
Canberra put on a strong showing in their 2-0 win over Perth Glory in Round 1 last weekend, which has Stengel brimming with confidence as her side prepare to host a City squad jam-packed with talent.
Hear how Stengel plans to approach Sunday's clash, plus what Adelaide boss Ivan Karlovic hopes to improve on, the unique quality new Roar Head Coach Jake Goodship believes his squad possesses and more in our wrap of the pressers ahead of Round 2.
‘It’s just another opponent’: Stengel shows no fear ahead of City clash
Melbourne City travel to Canberra on Sunday afternoon determined to take all three points after a disappointing draw against Newcastle in Round 1.
But American striker Katie Stengel says the capital club should be respected as a genuine contender to match it with City after their strong start to the campaign.
“I guess you can call us an underdog, but we’re second on the table,” Stengel said.
“So we’re not (too much of an) underdog.
“I guess we don’t have all the flashy names like some other teams do.
“Hopefully we can play as a team, work hard, and still get results.
“It’s just another opponent on the weekend, we need to put in our own strong performance.
“They’re talented but I think we can match that.”
Canberra host City at McKellar Park on Sunday afternoon at 4pm AEDT.
‘It’s unrivalled with other clubs’: Roar boss Goodship backs his squad above all others
Jake Goodship took over as Head Coach of Brisbane Roar in the off-season, and he could not be happier with how his squad has come together as his side prepare for their first game of the 2019/20 Westfield W-League campaign.
“There’s a real sense of excitement within the group – we’ve prepared well and we just can’t wait to get out there,” Goodship said.
“There’s no pressure whatsoever among the group. We’re in a really good place before the first game.
“We’ve got almost a whole squad to select from and it’s a fantastic position to be in.
“All the players are fighting for spots, not just in the squad but in the starting 11 as well.
“There’s a real healthy competition and I know that whoever takes the field will give their all for the team and club.
“The leadership group moving forward will drive the heart and soul of the team and the club – their character and personalities are unbelievable.
“It’s unrivalled with other clubs. We have a great mix of local players and world-class stars, not just in the leadership group but throughout the whole squad too.
“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re coming off a 3-0 loss against Sydney FC but we’re just focused on what we need to do to win the game.”
Brisbane host reigning Premiers Melbourne Victory who are still hurting from their loss to Sydney FC last weekend, and Goodship is motivated to compile their misery with a strong showing at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday night, 7:30pm AEDT.
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MATCH PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Karlovic rues missed chances in Wanderers defeat
Adelaide boss Ivan Karlovic was left scratching his head as his side failed to get a point from their opening clash with Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 1.
The Reds took the lead through a Mary Fowler penalty but proceeded to concede an equaliser followed by a second goal late in the game which gave all three points to the home side.
“From a results point of view we’re disappointed we weren’t able to get something out of the game,” Karlovic said.
“I thought we deserved something.
“We were able to create a number of goal scoring opportunities. For the team not being together for an extended period of time it’s always a challenge to try and find that cohesion.
“We’re slowly getting that and creating opportunities is always one of the most difficult things - I thought we had a number of those.
“For us now it’s important for us to take those opportunities to finish off games."
This weekend Adelaide face the Champions Sydney FC who are buoyed from their dominant display against Melbourne Victory last weekend.
And Karlovic knows his side will have to be far more ruthless in front of goal if they are to get anything out of the game at Coopers Stadium on Friday, 7:30pm AEDT.
“It was a pretty convincing score line from Sydney, they’re the champions so it’s going to be a difficult game,” he said.
“They’re a good side, but also we back our ability and have full faith in what we’re doing and the quality we are producing at the moment.
“There’s belief in the group we can get something out of the game.”
MATCH PREVIEW: Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Heffernan lauds cohesion in Wanderers squad
Western Sydney Head Coach Dean Heffernan says the only thing more impressive than the talent of his playing group is the cohesion they have formed together.
The Wanderers earned a valuable three points in their come-from behind win over Adelaide in Round 1, and head into their clash with Newcastle at Bankwest Stadium on Friday, 5:00pm AEDT, high on confidence.
Heffernan’s squad was bolstered this week by the arrival of internationals Lynn Williams and Denise O’Sullivan, and the Wanderers boss says they’ve slipped right into his tight-knit unit with ease.
“The togetherness of the group already, it’s amazing,” Heffernan said.
“We have a couple more in: Lynn Williams has arrived, Denise O’Sullivan has arrived as well.
“The first session for Lynn and Denise we told them to do a cool down as the rest of the squad did some top-ups with fitness and sprint work and they stood alongside them, cheered them on, supported them, and you don’t see that too often.
“There’s a good, special feeling around the group at the moment and the girls coming in are carrying on with that.
“It’s amazing to have girls of that calibre here, but we’re more impressed with the way they are as people first, seeing that at training on Monday was brilliant to watch.
“We know what they can do on the field but after seeing that we know for the squad and what it takes to win things, there’s that togetherness there already and the way they’ve blended into the group has been great.”
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‘I was totally flabbergasted’: Collister surprised herself with screamer against City
Nobody gave the Newcastle Jets a chance as they came into their opening round clash against Melbourne City, which made Teigan Collister’s late equaliser – a stunning drive from long range – all the more sweet.
And now, looking ahead to their Round 2 clash with Western Sydney, Collister says momentum is building as the Jets embrace their underdog tag.
“I wasn’t expecting to score, everyone goes into a game hoping that will happen but I was totally flabbergasted when it came off, which was really exciting,” Collister said.
“It was definitely a really big team effort, everybody put on a lot of pressure and that was where I think the goal came from.
“I think the general consensus from the start was we knew we were going to be a bit of an underdog this season, but everyone has bought into that and everyone really wants to work hard for it.
“It does make it more pleasing when you know you’ve worked hard and you’ve earned it.
“I think [Wanderers] will be another tough game.
“They always put up a really good fight and I think it will be a good challenge, but hopefully we can come up with a win.”