Morris highlights importance of improving to give Saints Women promotion chance

ELLA Mor­ris claimed Saints were “pun­ished” for a poor start to the game against Black­burn Rovers dur­ing their 2–1 defeat at Ewood Park on Sun­day.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side went two goals behind after only 12 min­utes through a Megan Horn­by dou­ble which put the vis­i­tors firm­ly up against it.

Saints ral­lied after that and pulled a goal back when Mol­ly Pike struck before half-time but they were unable to find a lev­eller — in a blow to their Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tion hopes.

Speak­ing to club media, Mor­ris admit­ted there may have been a bit of “com­pla­cen­cy” dur­ing the ear­ly stages but she hopes Saints can respond in the final three match­es of the sea­son.

She said: “In the first 10 min­utes, we were not on it enough and they (Black­burn Rovers) scored two good goals. We tried to get back into the game, but it wasn’t enough in the end.

“There was maybe a bit of com­pla­cen­cy in terms of our dis­tances as a team. It’s on every­body though. We’ve all got to pick it up and move for­ward in the next game.

“I think we stepped up after that so it’s just about reflect­ing on that and see­ing how we can improve on that. I think it just goes to show that in this league you get pun­ished.”

The result leaves Saints’ pro­mo­tion hopes hang­ing in the bal­ance as they are now four points behind lead­ers Sun­der­land — while the gap can stretch to six if Crys­tal Palace win their game in hand.

Saints now have three match­es remain­ing and Mor­ris wants Southamp­ton’s focus to switch to tak­ing care of busi­ness in those games to give them­selves the best chance of going up.

“The final touch just didn’t seem to go in the back of the net. We need to take what we can move on, and have a reac­tion in the final three games,” she con­tin­ued.

“(Mov­ing for­ward), can we react to that a lit­tle bit ear­li­er? Pro­mo­tion? If it’s still on, it’s still on, let’s go for it.

“We want to win every time so when we lose or draw, it hurts. We’ve just got to give it all we’ve got. We have an inter­na­tion­al break as well after next week­end so that will help reset us.”

Since return­ing to the team in recent weeks fol­low­ing injury, Mor­ris has played in a more advanced posi­tion with Megan Col­lett fea­tur­ing at right-back.

The Eng­land under-23 inter­na­tion­al revealed she is hap­py to play wher­ev­er need­ed to do a job for the team.

She added: “I’m a ver­sa­tile play­er so wher­ev­er Marieanne (Spacey-Cale) wants to put me, I’ll do as well as I can.

“It’s about util­is­ing what I can of my skills and try­ing to match that to whichev­er posi­tion I’m play­ing on the day.”