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SSFC Women: McMahon and Miller 'determined' to 'put things right'

South Shields Women leadership duo Becki McMahon and Alex Miller have urged the team to reflect, learn and to "put things right" ahead of a testing tie against Sunderland West End Ladies this Sunday.

The skipper and assistant head coach have suggested the Mariners know exactly where they need to improve following Shields' narrow 1-2 defeat against Bradford City at the weekend.

McMahon believed the lasses started Sunday’s game off well, but an early setback thanks to what would become a Mia Jacobs brace proved too much to claw back.

“We started really bright in the first 10 minutes,” she said. 

“We applied lots of pressure from the off but unfortunately the goal just unsettled us for a period and it took us a while to get back into sixth gear, and unfortunately we left it a little bit too late.

“Even into the final minutes it still looked like we could still get something out of the game. We piled on a lot of pressure and Annece [Legg] was unlucky hitting the crossbar.”

Since the new year, the Mariners have played five games and have won just two, losing the other three. Before the Barnsley match, Shields were undefeated in the league.

She continued: “Everyone is obviously frustrated and disappointed with our form this year, especially after how good our form had been previously but the team couldn’t be more together. 

“Although disappointed, we’re all aware of the areas we need to improve on as a team and are determined to put things right and get back to the amazing form we were in before the new year.”

Finally McMahon had some good words to say about the increasing home support, which will become even more important over the next two months with a majority of games being played on home soil.

She added: “There’s new faces every week and we’re all grateful for the extra support we’re receiving! The fans always give us that extra boost even when things aren’t going our way. 

“They’ve definitely had their part to play in getting us out of those tough spells in games recently and giving us that motivation we need to up the intensity and pressure!”

And assistant head coach Miller thinks the difficult spell has given the group a chance to become stronger off the field and become more unified on it.

She said: “It’s been a real testing run for the team from starting back in 2024. Obviously there’s been numerous results that haven’t gone how we wanted, but that’s football! 

“We’re a team that treats each experience as a chance to develop. The lasses have used this tough period as an opportunity to build upon their resilience as a team and reflect upon how we might do things differently going forward. 

“Despite the difficulties we have faced, it’s encouraging as a coach to witness the togetherness within the team and the passion that shines through when it really matters. It’s great to see the lasses really invested in forming the identity of this evolving team. 

“It’s evident that the group has a clear vision of what they are striving towards.”

Up next for the Mariners is Sunderland West End at Ford Hub this Sunday, March 3rd. Supporters will need a QR code to gain access to the Hub and you can register for a free Leisure United account to get one. 

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