It’s been some week for Durham midfielder Sarah Robson – who having already tangled with one bunch of Lionesses is now preparing to take on another.
Robson was part of the Northern Ireland squad who took on England at St George’s Park earlier this week, and has now returned to the North East ahead of our league clash with London City Lionesses on Sunday.
And reflecting back on the week, the midfielder was keen to take all the little positives that were evident in her country’s defeat to England – which acted as a good barometer for their progress in recent years.
“We had about seven days in camp which were really worthwhile,” she explained.
“It’s all a little pre-season building up to our qualifier in a couple of weeks’ time. It was just a really good camp, we got loads out of it and I think everyone is in a better place now knowing what we need to do when we get to the play-offs.
“Of course the England game was the pinnacle of it, but from start to finish it was great.
“The England game was all about seeing where we’re at,” she continued.
“I played England in 2005 and 2007 and I think getting to see how far we are now from them – individually as well as a team – it was nice to see that at times we could play with them.
“We probably passed the ball more times than maybe we did in the last two games we played them combined, so there’s all those little positives.
“We’re still trying to work on our philosophy and trying to do the right things, even against the best in the world.”
Focus now shifts back to club duty and a tricky trip to Dartford to face one of the division’s in-form sides in London City on Sunday.
And Robson is under no illusions as to the scale of the task facing the Wildcats this weekend.
“It’s probably been one of the hardest games we’ve played this season,” she said of the last meeting with London City.
“It was very physical and very close throughout, and they’ve been picking up some really good results recently.
“They look fitter, faster than what they were earlier in the season we know this will be one of our hardest games in the roll-in to the end of the season.
“We need to be on our guard and ready for them.”
It’s been a month since Durham last played competitively – but, as Robson explains, the hard work hasn’t stopped.
“Everybody has been working so, so hard.
“We’re not letting our guard down now. We’ve had that month to train, improve and ensure that we’re ready for this game.
“Everyone is just really excited to get playing again.”