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Emily Simpkins on the growing confidence at Brighton

Following Brighton’s comprehensive win over the London Bees in the Continental Cup group stage, Women’s Football spoke to Emily Simpkins about the Seagulls’ cup hopes and superb finishing.

WF: Coming to a second tier team’s home for a cup game, does it give the team a chance to have more of a “rest” away from pressures of WSL football?

ES: “We want to get out of the group so we were treating it like no other game. The pitch was tearing up a little bit so it made it hard for us to move the ball quickly, which was something we wanted to do, but we’re happy we got some goals.”

WF: Five goals in total but some really sublime efforts; is that something you’ve been focusing on in training, not just being clinical but really hammering the ball into the top corners?

ES: “That is one of the things we do in training, crossing and shooting. When we can, we’ve got to score, we’ve got to finish because we’re creating and now we’re scoring from open play and there were some decent finishes today.

WF: You yourself scored a fine goal, we have to ask: cross or shot?
ES: “C’mon, what do you think…

WF: When you look at the league, people aren’t expecting Brighton to compete for top four yet so how important are cup competitions?

ES: “They’re massive and especially the strength and depth in our squad, you see the changes and it gives the girls a chance to step up – and one of the girls tonight [Libby Bance] made her debut, so it is massive and we can put the things we’ve been practicing in training into performances like this. We don’t mind if people think that, we can be the dark horse coming up…

WF: This win, the professional display against Birmingham, it certainly looks like the team is picking up a head of steam…

ES: “I think you can tell there’s a little bit of confidence, there’s a little bit of buzz about us now and it stemmed from the Arsenal game [0-0 in the league cup] then 3-0 against Birmingham and scoring tonight…

WF: And wracking up the clean sheets, is that what the team builds off of?

ES: “If we don’t concede we don’t lose – we at least get a point – so that is our foundation, don’t concede, if we score we win. So the biggest thing is where can we pick up points and it is by clean sheets and fair play to the defence to be fair and that is one thing we are good at; off the ball, our defensive shape.

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