"It's a real team effort" - Hope Powell's thoughts after Brighton hold Manchester City to a 0-0 draw at the Academy Stadium
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Brighton and Hove Albion held WSL title challengers Manchester City to a 0-0 draw when they faced each other at the Academy Stadium on Sunday.

Hope Powell's side challenged the blues throughout the game, with Megan Walsh's impressive performance in goal making sure that the Seagulls secured a point.

Setting up to counter City

Brighton's last three games against City prior to this weekend have seen them concede a total of fourteen goals while scoring none. Powell confirmed that the Seagulls had worked hard to rectify and previous issues over the summer and that progression showed today:

"I think over the summer we worked really, really hard in terms of being a little bit more resilient, structure, gameplan. We brought in some new players that could help us with the way that we want to play and the way we want to progress. I think today in particular, we were very very organised.

"We worked on trying to stifle their play, I think we did that well at times. I think, more importantly, everybody played their part right until the last whistle and competed for everything. It was a real team effort today."

Competing in the WSL

Much of the limelight recently has been focused on the big-name additions secured by the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. When asked about whether she thought that displaying technical professionalism to compete in this league, and if you need big-name signings, Powell said that 'It's not about playing the name':

"I think so and that's something that we certainly highlighted this week. If you do your job well, if you execute the gameplan well, if you are hard to beat then you give yourself the best possible chance and we've worked on that this week.

"It's not about playing the name, it's about playing in the moment, playing the game as it stands in the here and now and we really tried to focus on that today. [We] focused a little bit more on ourselves and our strengths. Knowing what their strengths are, making sure we counter that and nullify that as much as we could. 

"I think for a large proportion of times we did it very well. We started to tire a bit but we came back again, everybody dug deep and it's a real team effort. I think it would be really difficult for me to single any player out to be honest. I think everybody played a part and because of that we were able to come away with something today.

Playing in the moment

Back in 2015, Albion announced their five-year plan to reach the Women's Super League and achieve European football. Although the latter has not yet been secured, Powell believes that her side can compete in this division:

"I think that's the task that I set myself and I set the players. It is about competing and I think if you're prepared hard enough to compete then you give yourself a chance.

"You've got to play in the moment. It's no good worrying about opposition names and who they have and haven't got, it's irrelevant until you get on the pitch and you play. For me, it's really important to play in the moment. If you work hard and you believe in yourself then you give yourself a really good chance and I think that's what we did today."