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“I don’t think it’s a game to go and enjoy” says Sheffield United skipper

A week on from their controversial loss against Charlton Athletic, Carla Ward’s Sheffield United will return to action this weekend as they travel to the Loughborough Foxes, to participate in the FA Women’s Cup fourth round. 

The 3-2 defeat on home soil, was the women’s second consecutive loss at the Olympic Legacy Park. With, the game making the headlines not due to either team’s performance, but by virtue of several beyond description errors from the officials.

This resulting fixture saw the Addicks rise into one of the two automatic promotion spots. Whilst, United fell down to eighth in the table, as a consequence of the London Bees defeating Lewes on the same matchday.

On the other hand, this Sunday’s opponents are currently sat third in the FA Women’s National League South, succeeding a satisfying first half of the campaign. They also will be coming into this fixture against the Blades’ with confidence, following their dominant 2-0 victory over C&K Basildon.

When asked whether the fixture against Loughborough can be overlooked due to their position in the Women’s pyramid, United’s captain Ellie Gilliatt, responded: “I don’t think it’s a game to go and enjoy, it’s disrespectful to the opposition”.

“We need to put everything right that we didn’t do for ninety minutes against Charlton. We need to put it right against Loughborough and give them the respect they deserve. I’m not interested who we play, it shouldn’t change our approach to the game”.

United will have to take Loughborough seriously if they’re to progress into the next round, as shown in the competition’s previous round. The Foxes battled back in a seven-goal thriller against Billericay Town, showing their desire to advance in the competition.

Additionally, previewing this Sunday’s fixture Blades manager Ward, said: “It’s all about trying to build on what we have now ready for Durham”.

“It might be a bit of a freebie so to speak with the girls. The FA Cup isn’t important to us this year. We respect the FA Cup, but it’s not important”.

Therefore, it’s evident Ward will be again evaluating her squad at Loughborough, in anticipation for the two crucial upcoming league fixtures against Durham, and Manchester United that follow this FA Cup clash.