'We won't be taken lightly'; Sheehan's rallying call ahead of Town Women's FA Cup clash with Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 16:29 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 14 February 2020
Ipswich Town Women's boss Joe Sheehan said that his team are ready for the fight that lays ahead of them this weekend as they take on Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
It's been a week of firsts for Sheehan's side who hosted their first press conference at Playford Road on Friday, ahead of the match which sees them as the first fourth tier team to make the fifth round of the competition.
The clash will be a tough one for Sheehan's side whose opponents sit three leagues above them in the footballing pyramid.
Nevertheless, its a fixture that Sheehan feels his side is ready for.
"We prepare very well for every team we play. We've done our homework and we will try to put a strategy in place," said Sheehan.
The Tractor Girls had been due to play Actonians in a league game last weekend, but the match was called off because of Storm Ciara.
Despite this, Sheehan says he wasn't concerned by the time that had passed since their last first team fixture.
"I was quite pleased that game was off. We seem to be having games every three or four days at the moment," said Sheehan.
"The game being off last week was okay for us, it gave me the opportunity to rest a few.
"Fitness wise I don't think you tend to lose it at this stage of the season unless you are going weeks without a game.
"The rest can sometimes be helpful."
Sheehan travelled up to Manchester on Wednesday to watch their final fixture before their clash with Ipswich, a league tie with Bristol in which City came out 1-0 victors.
The Tractor Girls manager was impressed with what he saw of City, the current cup holders.
"It's a well oiled machine," said Sheehan.
"A team that you can tell have had something very, very clear in place for a significant amount of time.
"An excellent team. I know it will be a challenge."
In the opposite dugout to Sheehan will be former Ipswich Town loan player Alan Mahon.
Mahon is the interim manager for Manchester City and told the club's website that his team were ready for a battle with town.
"We'll give the utmost respect to Ipswich and we won't take them lightly," said Mahon.
"Every game is important and we'd like to build some momentum. The objective is to continue to do what we've been doing.
"We'll crack on, take each game as it comes and go from there."
It will only Mahon's second game in charge following the departure of City's longstanding manager Nick Cushing to the MLS earlier this month.
"I think him being new to the role he will want to make a good impression," said Sheehan.
"He will want to prove that they can continue what they have been doing but we won't be taken lightly.
"We will go into that game believing we can progress because we have to."
Tractor Girls Captain Amanda Crump said that the players were also feeling positive ahead of this weekend's fixture.
"It's an exciting time for the club we are absolutely buzzing to play some of the top Lionesses it will be a great experience for everyone," said Crump.
"It's a huge moment, the biggest in history for us so far and it's going to be a unbelievable experience for us."
Over 400 Town fans are expected to make the journey north this weekend despite the poor weather conditions predicted.
"It's going to be amazing to have that support there. We will definitely recognise that when we are on the pitch," said Crump.
"I think a lot of the fans have got a lot of belief in us. So we need to go out there and play with no fear."