Doncaster Belles: Harris calls for top flight ‘intensity’ during run-in

Glen Harris
Glen Harris

Glen Harris wants the Belles to take what they have learned against FAWSL1 powerhouses Manchester City and Liverpool into their title run-in.

The FAWSL2 leaders resume their league campaign at bottom of the table Watford Ladies on Sunday (2pm).

Belles were beaten 3-0 by both City and the Reds in the Continental Cup - leaving them with an uphill task to qualify from Group B.

But Harris says the back-to-back defeats can act as inspiration in the club’s bid to return to the top flight.

“Our attention is on Watford now and we need to make sure we’re focused,” said Harris.

“What we need to do is take the intensity we’ve learned that WSL1 sides play at, both in and out of possession, and bring that to the fore in our remaining league games.

“The league has always been our priority,” he added.

“It would have been nice to have a bit of a run in the cup but I don’t think that’s meant to be realistically.

“We’re in a tough group and we’ll probably give some of our younger players a chance against Durham, Everton and Sunderland.”

Harris admitted that Belles could have conceded even more goals in their defeat to Liverpool last Thursday.

Natasha Dowie struck her third Continental Tyres Cup goal in two games before Lucy Staniforth scored directly from a corner. Substitute Ashley Hodson added a fourth.

“It was another lesson for us in WSL1 football,” said Harris.

“Like Manchester City did the previous week, Liverpool showed the quality that’s in that league.

“We didn’t adjust well to them playing three at the back – we anticipated that they’d play four – and if you give quality players opportunities, they’ll put the ball in the back of the net.

“In fairness to them, they probably should have had two or three more in the first half.

“We changed our plan and said we’d have a go at it and didn’t sit back, and it probably played into their hands a little bit.”