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Toner taking positives from Leeds defeat

8 January 2024


Toner taking positives from Leeds defeat

8 January 2024

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Belles manager Ciaran Toner was left disappointed after his side let a half-time lead slip at Leeds United but felt there was plenty to build on.

Izzy Gigg and Jasmine Saxton both netted in the first half however a second half fightback from the Whites saw them secure all three points.

Despite the defeat, Toner felt he could see the signs of success coming for the Belles.

Toner said: “We’re disappointed to lose the game but there are a lot of positives which could take from it and I expressed that to the girls at the end of the game.

“We are in a process here, but we want to win as much as possible because every game is an opportunity to build confidence.

“I thought the girls responded well to going behind in the first half and swung the momentum back into our favour.

“We got in front, and we were in the ascendency and could have had three or four before half time.

“We always knew that the momentum was going to shift again at some stage, but they got a fortunate penalty, and we should’ve had one at the other end too.

“The momentum shifted, and we struggled a bit in possession which meant we had to absorb more pressure and they obviously then got the goals.

“It is disappointing because it was a game that we were well in and dominating at one point but that’s the standard we want to set ourselves, we could have won it on another day.

“We start again this week though and apply ourselves like we have done since I came in to get better and I’m confident that if we keep that right mentality, we will be fine in the long term.

“It’s all about the environment that we set and the way we want to play.

“The girls know that the chances are going to come because of how we play so we’re trying to make sure the girls aren’t hit by conceding a goal.

“We still must make sure we deliver on the pitch though and we did in the first half.”

Despite starting 2024 with defeat on the road, Toner was adamant that his side would be up to the challenge in the second half of the season.

“I said when I came in that there was a lot of potential in this squad.

“Each game and training session is a test for our girls, and we must step up to those challenges week in week out.

“I’m confident that we have the players here that can do that so the girls should take a lot from today.

“We showed a lot of character in good situations, and I think with a bit more of a clinical touch it would’ve been a different story.”

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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