'We don't want to be nice' - Zoey Shaw aims to instil winning mentality at Doncaster Rovers Belles
Doncaster Rovers Belles head coach Zoey Shaw has told her players not to be ‘too nice’ with each other as they bid to turn around their ailing fortunes.
Belles secured their first victory of pre-season at FC United of Manchester on Sunday, winning 4-1 thanks to a hat trick from new arrival Jasmine Saxton and a goal from newly-named captain Lauren Breen.
Following last season’s relegation to the fourth tier of the women’s game, Shaw’s side will be expected to stop the rot this term and potentially challenge for promotion.
Shaw told Belles’ official website: “This game was more result-based for us and we said that to them before the game.
“We’d had a couple games where we’d worked on structure and positioning but here we wanted to get the win and start instilling that winning mentality.
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“We want everyone to be honest with each other.
“If they feel someone needs pushing along, we don’t want them to be afraid to tell them. We don’t want to be nice. We want to play good football but also get those messages across.
“You can really start to see the relationships beginning to develop out on the pitch now.
“We saw a lot more leadership on the pitch, not just from Breeny but others out there too, and I think that’ll be a big thing for us going forward.”
Sunday’s win followed defeats against higher ranked opposition in West Brom, Burnley and London City Lionesses.
“We took a little bit of time to get going in the first half, but I was delighted with the way they played after the break,” said Shaw.
“We gave them a lot of time on the ball but we spoke to them at half time and that obviously did the trick.
“Jasmine took the penalty really well and she’s really shown her quality out there. She’s scored three and she’s shown what she can do when she gets herself in the right place at the right time. She’s been a breath of fresh air up front.
“It was good for Lauren Breen to get on the scoresheet as well and it was good to get a few goals on the board because we’ve struggled to find a way through in the other friendlies.”
Belles start their FAWNL Division One Midlands campaign against Leafield Athletic at Rossington Main on Sunday, August 18 (2pm).
Their FAWNL League Cup clash against Sheffield on Sunday, August 25 (2pm), has been moved to the Keepmoat Stadium.