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Smith | Whatever happens we have a big few days ahead of us and we are ready

By Hayley Newman

Aaron Smith talks about the business end of the season and tomorrow's game against Oxford United.

It's now the final stretch for Aaron Smith and his Chichester City side with eight league games remaining.

Things are still tight in the FA Women's National League Southern Premier while the Green Army sit top of the pile right behind are Coventry United with three games in hand and five points adrift.

The manager is well aware of the silverware still available to his side who are in their highest league position in the club's history.

Smith said: "I want to win any game I’m involved in, being in the Sussex Cup final is a big thing for me this year.

"There were some big teams in it this year so to have reached the final is something I’m proud of.

"I think it's been a few years since Chi last won the County Cup, so I want to change that.

"In relation to the league we need to just keep performing well, enjoying our style of football and hope, Coventry slip up in the run in as they have some tough games.

"If you had told me in pre-season that our form would be questioned having lost two league games I would’ve laughed at you.

"It goes to show how well the players are doing and I want to encourage them to believe that they can win every game, smile and trust in each other, the results will then follow."

The good results started back in August on the first day of the season against Sunday's opponents with a 2-1 win at the Countrywide Gas Stadium.

Sara Tubby and Molly Clark scoring on the day to set Chi on their path to a title race.

Oxford have had mixed experiences since dropping down from the second tier winning six, losing four and drawing just once.

On that form, the U's sit sixth in the Southern Premier but were unfortunate not to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup having lead against Northern Premier leaders Blackburn Rovers only to lose 2-1.

"Oxford are a good team as you would expect from a big club who came down from the league above," observes Smith.

"I remember the first game of the season they had some nice passing patterns and their movement off the ball was very good and I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing a league game on a big 4G pitch.

"This coming week we obviously have the midweek fixture to contend with too, so this is where our full squad will work together to get the results we need in both games, without dropping the intensity.

In their last game, Oxford put seven goals past league strugglers Queens Park Rangers, Emily Allen getting the headlines with a hat-trick.

"Oxford's front line is very good, we know that," Smith reflects.

"But we should’ve scored seven against QPR in the first-half so I won’t read into this score too much.

"The result that impressed me more was the narrow defeat they had to Blackburn Rovers in the cup.

"We all know how Blackburn are performing this season, so Oxford have shown their class by running them close in that game.

"They have also made some very good signings recently and the way they conduct themselves away from the pitch is commendable.

"Whatever happens we have a big few days ahead of us and we are ready."

Follow us across our social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for match updates, news and reaction for tomorrow's game in the FA Women's National League.

Updated 17:46 - 9 Feb 2019 by Hayley Newman

Where next?

REPORT | Chi dominant in defeat Chi couldn’t convert as Oxford’s Timms scored the only goal
PREVIEW │ Oxford United v Chichester City Leaders travel to U’s looking to extend lead at the top

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