Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, says her team has greater belief in being able to play well under pressure, after coming from behind to win their last match, as they face high-flying Loughborough Lightning this weekend.
Stars will face the Vitality Netball Superleague’s fourth-placed side, who are only three points behind the top spot, at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday 23rd March at 6pm.
Bird said she was not underestimating the challenge her team faces, acknowledging that a neutral would have Loughborough as favourites, but said her side has the ability to challenge any team when they are consistent.
“Loughborough will be a tough match,” said Bird. “They have won their last five matches and beat leaders Wasps by one goal on Monday. However, we performed well against London Pulse and when we play with consistency we can challenge any team, including Loughborough. The squad has more belief now that it can perform well under pressure.”
She said the two sides did share some similarities.
“Loughborough, like us, have a very tall goal shooter and she will be hard to break down, but we also have this strength so I think the key will be how well the team looks after the ball and capitalizes on the other’s errors,” she added.
Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, were boosted by an impressive win on the road against London Pulse last Saturday, coming from behind 25-28 at half-time to win the match 60-51. Sam described the way her team responded in the second half as “fantastic”. Stars also performed well the week before, pushing champions Wasps, despite the defeat.
“For the first time we came from behind against Pulse to win by nine,” she said. “If we focus on the process and keep the quality in our play a strong performance will surely follow.”
Photo credit: Clive Jones