Arsenal Ladies boss expects Notts County to be awkward opponents

Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa. Pic: TGSPHOTO

Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa. Pic: TGSPHOTO - Credit: TGSPHOTO

Arsenal Ladies boss Pedro Martinez Losa anticipates a difficult test when his side take on Notts County in the Women’s Super League on Sunday (2pm).

The Gunners closed the gap on leaders Chelsea with a 1-0 victory away to Birmingham last weekend, while fourth-placed County also triumphed on the road, 2-1 at Liverpool.

Losa said: “Notts County are one of the most uncomfortable teams to play against because they are tough, aggressive and organised. They make your game very difficult and play at a very high intensity.

“We suffered in the first game [against them] and this time will be similar. They’ve got very competitive players who are good in the style that they play, so it will be a big challenge.”

Arsenal attracted their biggest ever crowd for a league game at Meadow Park when they faced Liverpool a fortnight ago, with 2,061 in attendance to see the visitors win 3-1.

Interest in the domestic game has surged since the England team’s recent bronze medal success at the Women’s World Cup and Losa is optimistic that new fans will keep coming back for more.

He added: “Hopefully we can keep the interest of those people for the long term. That’s what we want, more families, girls and fans coming from the men’s teams.

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“We want more people to get into ladies’ football. Once they watch it they will understand that it is attractive and that they can enjoy watching it.

“All they need to do is give up two or three hours and then our obligation is to play good football, to make their time enjoyable so that they can come back again.”

The Gunners recovered from that setback against Liverpool, holding on to beat Birmingham on Sunday.

Former Arsenal midfielder Freda Ayisi was sent off on the stroke of half-time, tripping Natalia Pablos Sanchon before a foul on Leah Williamson earned her a second yellow card just a minute later.

And the visitors took advantage of Ayisi’s dismissal eight minutes after the restart as Chioma Ubogagu exchanged passes with Natalia and fired into the corner of the net.

Remi Allen went close to snatching an equaliser when she volleyed against the crossbar, but Arsenal dug in to seal the three points.

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