Portsmouth Women determined to do city proud and down Southampton in 'biggest English football rivalry'
Portsmouth Women are intent on doing everyone in the city proud when they take on Southampton in a huge south-coast derby.
The arch-rivals will do battle for the right to reach the Women’s National League Cup semi-final at Privett Park tomorrow (7.45pm).
But for Pompey, it provides them with more than just a chance to claim the bragging rights over Southampton and secure a last-four tie away at Sunderland.
Jay Sadler’s side have been blighted by the bad weather this season, with 14 matches postponed already this term.
They last played a competitive fixture on January 5, when they suffered a 1-0 Women’s FA Cup third round defeat at Ipswich Town.
But Sadler believes progressing past Southampton in the national cup could provide them with a perfect boost as they look to kick-start their season.
Pompey are still challenging on four fronts, with the National League Southern Premier Division title, Portsmouth, Hampshire and National League Cups within their sights.
And the Blues boss sees the south-coast derby clash as a big opportunity for his side with a hectic schedule on the horizon.
‘It’s a game we’re looking forward to for a number of reasons,’ said Sadler.
‘One is the fact it’s a south coast derby and the second is the fact it’s a game.
‘The rivalry is evident in the women’s game too.
‘We want to do the city proud as well as ourselves and just play the way we know we can play.
‘It’s bragging rights at the end of the day.
‘Coming from Liverpool myself and knowing certain rivalries, I’ve not known a rivalry like this.
‘I’d say when you look at the UK, the biggest rivalry I know is Celtic v Rangers.
‘But in England, I’ve not known one that means so much to the fans. (as the south-coast derby)
‘You don’t need to hype it up anymore, it is Portsmouth against Southampton.’
Portsmouth sit a division-higher than National League Division 1 South West rivals Southampton.
However, Sadler insisted the pressure is off his players in the south-coast derby.
And the Blues boss feels it will stay the same between now and the end of the season with such a huge fixture backlog.
‘We’re kind of the dark horses in all competitions really now,’ added Sadler.
‘No-one is expecting us to make a challenge or is anyone, in my opinion, expecting us to do anything against Southampton with all the games gone.
‘There’s not as much pressure as there would have been on us, we can just go and enjoy it.’