Forest Women’s Coach, Andy Cook, looks ahead to Sunday’s return, away to Burnley.
They’ve been anxious for some time to get back out both training, and playing matches, and this Sunday afternoon, away to eighth-placed Burnley in the FA Women’s National League North, Nottingham Forest Women can gain lace up their football boots and play their game.
One of two matches between now and the end of what has been a tough 2020, the trip to Burnley on December 13 is followed up by a home game with West Bromwich Albion a week later, December 20, Head Coach Andy Cook and his coaching staff have certainly been putting the squad through their paces since they returned.
A gruelling, yet no doubt enjoyable, four hour session was recently seen on social media as they readied themselves for a first outing since the 1-0 reverse at Sunderland on November 1, a defeat that saw them remain fourth in the league table.
Speaking ahead of the return to action, Andy Cook told the Nottingham Sport that: “It’s fantastic that everyone is happy to back playing and working again.
“We can’t wait to get games started again and the break as given us a renewed sense of what is needed to do to compete again.
“Training couldn’t have gone any better and we had a double session on Sunday (December 6) and physically we set new standards; during our games we track the physical intensity output of the players and we hit higher targets in our training game after two hours of work beforehand, than we have in games.
“So we’re taking this as we have a lot more to come from this group over the season; I’ve said it before but they really don’t realise how good they can be.”
Now, with no problems arising in-camp from the current, ongoing covid pandemic, Forest Women are all but ready for this Sunday’s outing at the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground and a Burnley side who have lost three and drawn once in their last six outings.
A see-saw campaign for this Sunday’s hosts had them open the season with back-to-back victories which was quickly followed by two straight defeats, then a season high, 3-1 win away to Loughborough, a draw with Stoke, before losing their last outing away at the Mickleover Sports Club and Forest’s rivals, Derby County.
It is because of the tight nature of the games in which Burnley have already been involved this season that Andy added: “The Burnley game will be tough.
“They are organised and well drilled and I’m sure they will come at us and attack, especially being on home soil; try to maintain possession, and build attacking plays through us, so we will have to be ready, and focused.
“They have good threats and good players throughout the team and we always tend to have good games with Burnley so this weekend will be no different.”
A need for maximum points in the next two matches, with Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, must be at the forefront of Coach Cook’s thinking before preparation begins on the second half the season, and 2021, with the Vitality Women’s FA Cup being added into the mix also.
“We can’t wait to get going again and I know it’s going to be a long season, but I know we’ve got the squad to deal with it,” concluded Andy.
Nottingham Forest Women travel to the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground, Burnley, on Sunday December 13 in the FA Women’s National League North, kick-off scheduled for 2pm.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Josh Dixon Reds Manager Andy Cook says ‘he can’t wait’ to get back to action.