Villa Ladies FA Cup preview: Gibson - We're ready for Liverpool
Villa Ladies forward Natalie Gibson heads into the FA Cup last sixteen clash with Liverpool Ladies insisting: "We are the underdogs. We have confidence and belief. The pressure is all on them."
Villa Ladies beat Ipswich Ladies and Preston Ladies to set up the exciting encounter with Super League outfit Liverpool Ladies on Sunday, which kicks-off at 2pm at Boldmere St Michaels.
Experienced Gibson is relishing the encounter and believes that, despite two back-to-back defeats, confidence is high in camp.
Liverpool Ladies are yet to play a competitive game, with the Super League season starting in two weeks but they will still be favourites after a vast recruitment drive on new players over the past few months.
Gibson insists, though, that Villa Ladies have "nothing to lose."
She said: "We were unlucky against Coventry. And at Watford we just didn't click. But we will put those games behind us.
"We are now looking ahead to Liverpool on Sunday. We are confident.
"The last two results haven't dented our confidence at all. We are going into the game with nothing to lose.
"At Watford, it just wasn't happening for us, we couldn't get going and they just capitalised on it. It was one of those games. The quicker you forget about them, the better.
"We are the underdogs in this one. We have confidence and belief though. The pressure is all on them. We have nothing to lose.
"It's a big game. But we will treat it as any other game. The occasion won't get to us. We are in it to win it."
Gibson believes Villa Ladies blend of youth and experience will stand them in good stead in this clash - and for the future.
She continued: "We have a good team. We have a good mix of youth and experience.
"It's a great chance for the younger ones to prove how good they are, how far they have come and that they're not out of place playing against players from the top level.
"They have to treat it like any other game, though. It's about not letting the occasion go to their head.
"But these younger players are very switched on and level-headed. They won't get carried away. They will just be desperate to win.
"We have good experience too. We have Pet and Jade at the back, they are class central defenders.
"We have Tash in midfield who has played this level for a long time.
"Tash has been superb. She is playing quality football. She has aggression in the midfield, she breaks play up, she loves tackling. But she's so composed on the ball and brings other players into the game too."
The clash with Liverpool Ladies marks a reunion with her old side for new signing Chloe Jones.
Gibson believes the attacking midfielder will handle the situation beautifully.
She added: "She will be fine. I was chatting to her the other night. She said she will treat it as another game.
"She will know some of the players, obviously, but she said it won't bother her. If anything it will inspire her.
"She is looking forward to it. She won't let it get to her."
Home advantage could prove vital this weekend - especially if Gibson's call for more support comes off.
She added: "It's a massive weekend for Villa. It would be great for fans to go along and cheer the men on against QPR on Saturday and then come and roar us to victory over Liverpool on Sunday.
"That would be brilliant. They should make a weekend of it.
"We have a good fanbase and it's growing all the time. It would be great for others to come and see us."
Get along to Boldmere St Michael's Ground [Sat Nav: B73 5RY] to support Villa Ladies. Admission is £2.
Draw In Full
Aston Villa v Liverpool