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INTERVIEW | Toner praises “excellent” Belles in cup quarter final

23 January 2024


INTERVIEW | Toner praises “excellent” Belles in cup quarter final

23 January 2024

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Belles manager Ciaran Toner felt doing the basics right set his side up for a comfortable day against Dronfield Town in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup.

A Phoebe Sneddon goal and Jasmine Saxton hat-trick saw the Belles cruise to the semi-finals of the competition as they successfully battled the elements on the Eco-Power Stadium 3G.

After dominating from start to finish the Irishman was full of praise for his side.

“We were excellent,” Toner said. “I just said to the girls that coming into the game we were expected to win the game and win it well and sometimes that can cause you problems.

“The most impressive thing though was the simplicity of tasks and how well they did the basics.

“They didn’t try to do too much unnecessarily and our efficiency in decision making really made it what I would class as an easier day for us.

“It says something about where we’re wanting to go with this project and today was an opportunity for the players to get back on track with a win and that’s what they did.”

Saxton secured her 14th goal of the season with her second County Cup hat-trick in as many games and Toner paid credit to the number nine’s all-round game.

He added: “She got into some really good positions and there was a few situations where she was flagged offside and they were borderline but I would say that’s a sign of a really good striker being on the edge.

“She could’ve had more and I don’t think she’ll mind me saying that.

“It’s nice for her to get that hat-trick and accolade though and although it could’ve been more, her overall work was really good today.”

With the Belles now only 90 minutes away from matching last year’s cup run, Toner is setting his sights on success.

“Last year we got to the final but we want to go one better because we want to win games, we want to win trophies and it doesn’t matter what competition it is.

“I’ve said to the girls that winning cup competitions shows you’ve been the best in that competition and that says something.

“It’ll be tough of course but today was a statement and we just need to build on that to progress to the next round.

“We’re expecting the semi-final to be a tough game but we’ll push on and hopefully go one better and if we apply ourselves in the right way, we’ve got a good chance of doing that.”

To watch Toner’s post-match interview in full, it is available via the Belles official X (formerly known as Twitter) page - @donnybelles.

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