Ashleigh Plumptre

Let's Kick On Now, Says Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre believes LCFC Women can look ahead to a bright future after confirming their Barclays FA Women's Super League status for 2022/23.
More on this story...

- Already-safe LCFC Women travel to take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday
- A 12pm BST kick-off in North London brings the curtain down on the season
- Defender Ashleigh Plumptre discussed a 'whirlwind' campaign pre-match
- She aims to help ensure City kick on are not in the same position again

Survival was assured ahead of the final day of the season, allowing City to go into Sunday's WSL match-up against Tottenham Hotspur with a more relaxed mindset.

Held at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the occasion is one Plumptre hopes they can embrace, while also having eyes on a positive end to the campaign after picking up a point last time out.

“It’s the first game where we can actually go and play with no pressure," the 23-year-old admitted. "So I’m hoping that we make the most of that and can do more in possession. Reading was the first time in quite a few games where we got to be on the ball as much as we were.

Women

LCFC Women 0 Reading Women 0

Extended highlights from LCFC Women's final home fixture of the season, a goalless draw with Reading at King Power Stadium.

"Tottenham are obviously a great side. It’s a big occasion for both sides but especially for them playing [at Tottenham Hotspur]. We’re going to go there with completely no fear and absolutely nothing to hold back because it is the last game of the season. We have nothing to lose."

Plumptre is City's top appearance holder within the current squad, playing 55 times across all competitions since arriving in December 2019. Starting all 24 of the matches she featured in this term, including 19 in the league, the defender has been a key cog in helping steer the team to safety.

The Nigeria international commented: “This season has been more of a test of character for myself. If I reflect on it for me personally, it's been completely up and down and it was about trying to maintain the level of focus throughout, making sure I didn't get too high with the ups and not too low with the downs, just to make sure I continued performing.

"I know we struggled with injuries as well, so while there were so many players out that we did miss and we value a lot of their skillsets that we didn't have, I wanted to still bring my game.

"Sometimes you have to step into a little bit of a different role. There was probably more asked of a lot of us because the squad was relatively smaller than last season. You have to look inward on yourself and also on the group as a whole and assess our mentality throughout games.

"There's a lot of things we've done around game management. There was a trend of us conceding towards the end of games. Reading ended 0-0 but earlier on in the season, potentially we could have conceded a goal. That’s the biggest thing for us, it’s tiny margins that you feel the effects of."

Also reflecting on her whole Foxes career to date, which involved turning professional, gaining promotion to the top-flight for the first time as FA Women's Championship champions and King Power Stadium becoming LCFC Women's home, the centre-back looks back fondly on the journey over the past two-and-a-half years.

"It's been a complete whirlwind," she added. "The first year we had the target of trying to win the league and get promoted, so that was our sole focus. Then coming into this season, we knew it would be completely different.

I don’t want to look too far ahead, but I’m focused on what could I have done and what can I do better in the following season so it doesn't happen again.

Ashleigh Plumptre

"It was just trying to compete the best we could and first and foremost stay in the league - and we have achieved that. Obviously we can look back on it and reflect on the things we could have done better but ultimately we've stayed in the league and that was the priority.

“I think we all expected what the league was going to be, but I’ve never played in the WSL before so it was a big step for me coming from the Championship. But having the fans there consistently, it just shows a lot that we do have the backing even in our first season in the WSL.

“We don’t have the experience of the other teams but with the young players that we do have, we've managed to get the result in the end. We wanted to stay in the league, but it's not something we're necessarily satisfied with.

"Nobody really wants to end up in the relegation battle as long as we have been. I don’t want to look too far ahead, but I’m focused on what could I have done and what can I do better in the following season so it doesn't happen again."

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