Stingrays can't afford to lose focus now: Shaw

Stingray Daila-Tais Borg and Melissa Caceras of University clash. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Stingray Daila-Tais Borg and Melissa Caceras of University clash. Picture: ROBERT PEET

FOOTBALL - WOMEN'S PREMIER LEAGUE

Back-to-back matches against the competition's bottom two clubs may not seem like much but Illawarra Stingrays coach Graham Shaw is adamant his squad can't lose focus.

The Rays meet last-placed Blacktown Spartans (ninth) in round 14 then face Marconi Stallions (eighth) a week later in the women's top grade.

"We have to pick up some points in the next couple of weeks. We are in seventh and our next two games are against the two teams below us on the ladder so they are two crucial games," he said.

Shaw's side have revived their season in recent weeks, despite going down 2-1 to league leaders Macarthur last Sunday.

Before the loss they'd won three straight games to bring themselves back within touching distance of the top-four.

Illawarra (18 points) are now four points off fourth placed Sydney University (22 points) and Shaw believes if they play to their potential over the next fortnight they can bridge the gap.

"If we play no different to how we have been playing against the teams who are also on a level playing field with us, we know we are good for the points.

"I think were good enough to get the points against Rams on the weekend but they just have that quality if you make any errors they are just going to punish you every time," Shaw said.

The Rays will again rely on Michelle Carney and Jordan Baker this weekend.

They are in the top-five for the golden boot this season - Carney (13 goals) leads her young teammate on nine.

ROUND 14

Sunday, 3pm

Blacktown Spartans FC vs Illawarra Stingrays, Blacktown Football Park


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