Sunderland will play the game and not the occasion against Birmingham City says Reay | OneFootball

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FAWSL Full-Time

·24 August 2022

Sunderland will play the game and not the occasion against Birmingham City says Reay

Article image:Sunderland will play the game and not the occasion against Birmingham City says Reay

Sunderland head coach Melanie Reay says that her side will be focusing on their performance and not the occasion when they face Birmingham City at The Stadium of Light this weekend.

Women’s football’s latest experiment sees Sunderland’s men’s side face Norwich City on Wearside at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon before Reay’s women take on Birmingham City at the same venue at 4pm. A crowd of more than 30,000 is expected for the men’s game and all ticket holders are being invited to remain in the stadium to cheer on their women’s team afterwards.

There is every chance that the Barclays Women’s Championship’s record attendance of 5,752 will be smashed even if a relatively small percentage of supporters remain at The Stadium of Light for the second game.

When speaking to FAWSL Full-Time ahead of the match, Sunderland boss Reay said that her side will appreciate the support but the focus must be upon what happens on the pitch.

“It is what it is,”  Reay said. “Hopefully, a lot of fans will come and watch.

“For us, we just really need to concentrate on ourselves and play the game and not the occasion.”

Sunderland started the new season with an excellent 1-1 draw at Durham on Sunday. The Lady Black Cats were good value for their point but Reay still wants more from her side with three points against a Birmingham City team who have been tipped for promotion being the next target.

She said “Although we got a point (against Durham) and we were pleased with it, there’s always room for improvement.

“We have watched the game back and we are aware of the Birmingham result. We will set up a game plan to go and win the game at the stadium at the weekend.”

Tickets for Saturday’s double header at The Stadium of Light remain on-sale and can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets are also available for fans who only wish to attend the women’s game.

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