Pre-Match Report

WSL: Arsenal v Bristol Academy - Preview

Laura Harvey

By Joe Brewin

Laura Harvey does not want premature talk of an unbeaten WSL campaign to get in the way of her side’s title challenge this season.

Harvey’s side lead the way at the top by eight points without a defeat to their name going into tonight’s league clash against Bristol Academy at Meadow Park.

But the Ladies manager insists the record is not a priority in the coming months, however flattering it could look in the history books.

“It is something that could be a nice record at the end of the season but Birmingham nearly did it last year and didn't win anything because of it,” she told

“The biggest thing is making sure that we win this league and try to get to the final of another cup competition. Over the next few days that is our priority.”

This is the first meeting in four days between the two sides as Arsenal continue the defence of their Continental Cup crown in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Despite suffering a 3-0 defeat to the Gunners in May, Bristol currently lie third in the Women’s Super League table and Harvey is well aware of the dangers posed by Mark Sampson’s improving team.

“Bristol are a good side,” she said. “I saw them play the other night against Birmingham, they have some good players in their team and we know that we have to be at the top of our game if we want to beat them.

“We hope to put on a similar performance to what we achieved away at Bristol, and hopefully the same result. I think the team and individual performances on that night were very high.”

Harvey’s side head into their final five matches of the season with four to look forward to at home - and the Ladies boss is determined to keep their 100 per cent record intact.

“We haven't been back at Borehamwood for a long time, so that will be nice,” she said. “With the position at we're in, to have four games out of five at home is obviously a huge bonus.

“We make it very public that we enjoy playing at Meadow Park because the pitch we get to play on helps us. We hope that we can get as many points on the board as quickly as possible so that it's all about us. We don't want to think about the teams behind us.”

Harvey is once again able to select from a fully-fit squad, although changes could be afoot with Sunday’s cup tie on the horizon.

One player keen to continue where they left off is midfielder Jordan Nobbs. The 19-year-old has scored three goals in her last two matches and her manager is pleased with the youngster’s efforts.

“Jordan is a good talent and I think both goals [from the Doncaster game] owe a lot of credit to Kelly [Smith],” said Harvey.

“She created the tap-in opportunity but Jordan's work rate and desire to get into the box to score means she is getting herself onto the scoresheet at the moment. That can only be good for us.”

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