Canberra’s focus not yet on finals says Downer

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After booking a home Semi Final in two weeks following a dominant defeat of Western Sydney Wanderers, Canberra United coach Rae Downer insisted that the focus is only on next week and taking momentum into the finals.

Goals from Caitlin Munoz, Rebecca Kiting and Ash Sykes saw Canberra win a seventh straight Westfield W-League match, and after chipping in with two assists, Kendall Fletcher was also on hand to offer praise to her teammates.

Injuries and players resting saw a re-jigged Canberra team and Fletcher praised the ability of everyone to play a role.

“From the top of our roster to the bottom of our roster, anybody can step on and do a job for us and that’s a sign of a really strong team.”

Lydia Williams and Michelle Heyman sat out this weekend, with Melissa Maizels lining up between the sticks after Williams was met with a heavy challenge during a national camp this past week.

“Lydia had a fairly solid challenge in their game, a pretty bad challenge actually. I think [the coach] certainly gave some words to the fella who did it” said Fletcher.

“It gave her a pretty nasty cork, and Michelle was a bit tight from the long trip back from Perth, so she just did rehab running for the week.”

When asked about taking on Melbourne City in the final, Rae Downer was coy about the big dance, preferring to focus on their immediate clash with Adelaide United next week, before they begin to think about even making the Grand final.

“For us, we need to concentrate on beating Adelaide next week, so that gives us more momentum and more cohesion going in, and then we’ve got a semi final opponent which is [more than likely] Sydney FC here on the 24th.”

The clash with Sydney is in fact confirmed, following the Sky Blues’ win over Newcastle on Saturday, and United are relishing playing at McKellar Park once more.

Downer made no mention of plans to rest players next week however her confidence in the squad’s depth means we may see more players given opportunities again, before a full strength side returns for the Semi Final.

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David Jordan
David Jordan
Former Media Manager of Canberra United and Central Coast Mariners. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33.

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