Lauren Smith was 'proud' of her players, despite Bristol City falling to a 1-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Bristol City went 1-0 down in just the second minute as Bethany England scored her first goal of the WSL season. The Tottenham captain latched onto Grace Clinton's through-ball, who was given too much space in the middle of the park, before cutting in and firing a powerful shot into the bottom right corner.

It foreshadowed a frustrating afternoon for the Robins, who had plenty of adventures into the final third, but they lacked the final product. It featured a nervy finish as the hosts picked up the intensity — and Smith mentioned her pride for those players post-match.

"I'm proud of the finishers and all of the players who came onto the pitch and did that job well."

Bristol City now have five matches remaining to make up the six-point gap to survival. The likelihood of staying up is narrowing each match, but Smith has not given up yet.

It's been a recurring story for Bristol City. Play well, create chances in the final third, but don't score. They've had countless narrow and disappointing defeats all season — and it was the same story against Robert Vilahamn's side.

Despite a concerning start to Spurs, they eventually found their momentum, even enjoying small periods of possession against them. Yet, despite the performance, they couldn't find the important goal.

"I thought we were resilient and showed character. Having gone a goal behind after two minutes, [but] to stay focused and keep our heads on at that point is a big praise for the team," Smith said when asked by VAVEL to analyse the performance. 

"I'm proud of those moments. I'm gutted that in the first moment of the game, we haven't defended well enough. That's something we have to take. I'm proud of the finishers and all of the players who came onto the pitch and did their job well. They matched if not raised our level. Ultimately, gutted about the first two minutes but proud of the rest."

Bristol City might be fighting a rising tide in the WSL, but Smith reiterated that they will continue to work until it's mathematically over. 

"We have to do the same thing every week. The belief is there until it's not. Until it's gone and out of our hands, right now we know we have to turn up, do our best and, if we continue to build on the last two performances, anyone can beat anyone.  It's going to be hard. Every game this season has been hard," she said. 

  • Using a three-week break

Bristol City, just like Tottenham, now have a three-week break until their next match. Due to Arsenal's progression into the Continental Cup final, their original encounter was postponed — and it has been rearranged for two weeks later. 

With an international break part of that period, it will be a challenging period to pick up momentum at the bottom of the WSL season with several players away with their nations. 

"It's difficult. We've got a lot of players who are on international duty. We don't have the squad in so we'll have to wait. We'll have this week to keep them ticking over and then we hope they come back fit and healthy to play against Arsenal. We know what we need to do; it's more danger in attack," Smith told VAVEL. 

However, when they do return, they will continue to fight for every point — and the fans will play a huge part in that according to Smith.

"We've built this huge fanbase and they're unbelievable. They're here to the very end and they're always behind the team. I love that about the club. They're going to be huge until the end of the season."