Mark Sampson still wants second spot for Bristol Academy
MARK Sampson knows a win for Bristol Academy at home to Chelsea tonight will virtually guarantee a top-half finish in the FA Women's Super League.
But the head coach has not given up hope that the Vixens – in fourth place – could still sneak into the runners-up position and pinch a UEFA Women's Champions League spot over their remaining three games.
Their final two fixtures are against sides in the top three – Birmingham and Everton – and are likely to be severe tests.
So Sampson believes it's vital Bristol make the most of their chance to put pressure on their rivals by beating the Londoners at Stoke Gifford (6pm).
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"We want to hang on in there for second place for as long as we can – and because of the games we've got left, it's still in our own hands," said Sampson.
"We'll look at the situation game by game, but the Chelsea one is going to be tough and we need to be at our best if we are going to be competitive."
Bristol should be at virtually full strength, with midfielder Molly Clark their only long-term injury absentee.
"All the girls who were on international duty this week came back uninjured, which was important for us," said Sampson.
"Chelsea have had a recent change of management and will have an increased sense of motivation because of that. From what I've seen, they were a bit unlucky to lose their last two games against Birmingham and Everton."