Jonathan Morgan

Morgan: We'll Be Ready For Durham Women

Confronting and equaling Durham Women's work ethic at Maiden Castle Sports Park will be central to LCFC Women's chances on Sunday, says manager Jonathan Morgan.

- LCFC Women face Durham Women at Maiden Castle Sports Park on Sunday (12pm GMT kick-off)
- The Foxes sit top of the FA Women's Championship, above Durham on goal difference only
- Manager Jonathan Morgan sat down with the press, via video call, on Thursday
- Morgan has called on City's players to equal Durham's desire and work ethic in the North East

The top-of-the-table clash in the FA Women's Championship sees leaders City travel to face second-placed Durham with the two sides separated by just goal difference.

While the Foxes have one game in hand on Lee Sanders' side, Morgan is well aware of the unique nature of the test they are likely to pose in the North East.

Speaking at Belvoir Drive to the national media via video call on Thursday, the LCFC Women manager provided an overview of his admiration for Durham.

"They’re a very well organised team," he said. "One of the things Durham have in abundance – and I’m yet to see it in another team to the same level – is their team ethic.

That, for me, is one of their biggest secrets in terms of why they’ve had such a good defensive record because they fight for each other. You either have that or you don’t and they do.

Jonathan Morgan

"Their team spirit is brilliant and I think that’s why they concede so little. They have such a burning desire to fight for each other from minute one to minute 90.

"It’s something Lee’s instilled in them over four or five years. You can see they’re well gelled and, most importantly, they have so much respect for each other as individuals.

"That, for me, is one of their biggest secrets in terms of why they’ve had such a good defensive record because they fight for each other. You either have that or you don’t and they do."

Naturally, onlookers will place a degree of significance on the result on Sunday and, while Morgan admits the stakes are high, he's simply keen to ensure the preparation is right.

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"The timing of the game perhaps makes it bigger than what it would have been at a different point of the season," he continued.

"Clearly, we’ve got the same number of points and we have a superior goal difference, we just want to go into it doing our best.

"Durham have been fantastic and Lee has done a brilliant job with them, not just this season, but for numerous seasons. They’re a consistent top-four team over the last three years.

"They’re a very, very dangerous team and they’ve picked up some big results already this season. We want to make sure, from our point of view, we’re prepared for them.

"We’re going to their ground to play on their surface and we know this is going to be a mentally absorbing game and it’s going to be physically demanding."

Ensuring the players are equipped - physically, mentally and tactically - has been a priority point for Morgan and his backroom team this week.

After exiting the Continental Tyres League Cup at the semi-finals stage - suffering a first defeat in 11 games at Women's Super League outfit Bristol City - focus is now on getting back on track.

A lot of it has been down to knowing your players and knowing your squad. It’s not just myself, it’s the whole staff, and we understand what gets the best out of them in sessions.

Jonathan Morgan

"We repeat the same messaging to the players in meetings in terms of how we want to play and we feel we can exploit them," Morgan explained.

"Obviously, it comes down to the more intricate stuff, the man management side, where you have one-to-one chats and make them realise how they can be a key player for us.

"A lot of it has been down to knowing your players and knowing your squad. It’s not just myself, it’s the whole staff, and we understand what gets the best out of them in sessions.

"We’ve done that well this week. It’s good it’s on the back of the Bristol City game because it’s allowed us to highlight some learning points to reinforce through the week.

"That game has made the girls hungrier to make sure they do their job to the best of their ability for this game and beyond."

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