Doncaster Belles: ‘Favourites’ tag doesn’t faze us - Staniforth

Leandra Little led her troops to a 2-0 opening FAWSL2 win over Aston Villa.

Leandra Little led her troops to a 2-0 opening FAWSL2 win over Aston Villa.

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Gordon Staniforth insists he is not fazed about Doncaster Rovers Belles’ ‘title favourites’ tag.

The Belles boss told the Free Press that he is under no illusion that every team in the new-look FAWSL2 will be eager to prove a point this year with the league title up for grabs.

And he is fully focused on the challenge of steering Belles back to the top flight following their controversial ‘relegation’ last season.

“I don’t feel the pressure at all,” said Staniforth, whose side opened their league account with a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Wednesday.

“Every team in this league wants to make an impression.

“But we want to prove a point as well, so the players are fully focused on what they have to do.

“We’re well prepared for the season.”

Last weekend the Belles were just minutes away from taking Champions League semi-finalists Birmingham City into extra time in the FA Women’s Cup following Leandra Little’s equaliser.

However, two last-gasp strikes from the Blues saw Doncaster crash out at the fifth round stage 3-1.

This Saturday Belles will play their first league game of the season at the Keepmoat Stadium when they host Oxford United.

United are a side coming into the second tier having won the Oxfordshire Women’s Senior Cup for the third consecutive year during an impressive 2012-13 campaign in which they clinched the South West Combination Women’s League.

They will also be looking to bounce back from their 3-0 league defeat to London Bees on Monday.

Belles v Oxford, tonight, 6.30pm, Keepmoat Stadium.