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Lincoln Ladies' Sophie Bradley sets sights on victory before mid-season break

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: July 06, 2012

Casey Stoney and Sophie Bradley have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games

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Olympic Games-bound Sophie Bradley admits it is imperative Lincoln Ladies enter the mid-season break on a positive note with victory over lowly Liverpool on Saturday (2pm).

The Lady Imps' hopes of a top two finish in the Women's Super League suffered a major setback last weekend when a sub-standard display saw them lose 3-1 at home to Bristol Academy.

The result left Glen Harris's side marooned in mid-table, but three points against Liverpool could rekindle their hopes of securing a place in the women's Champions League next season.

Centre-back Bradley (below) is drawing inspiration from Lincoln's meteoric rise up the table in the second half of last season, which saw them finish a creditable fourth.

"The league is so open, everyone is beating everyone, it's a crazy league," said the England and Great Britain defender.

"If we come back after the break and play well in the second half of the season, like we did last year, we've got a chance.

"It's down to what we do.

We don't want to be relying on other people."

Bradley insists Lincoln will learn from Saturday's poor display, which saw the Lady Imps surrender an early lead and concede three goals before half-time.

"It just wasn't a good team performance," confessed the former Leeds defender.

"We started off well, got an early goal and played well for the first ten minutes.

"Then we gave away a cheap free-kick, they scored from it and they came at us again.

"Fair play to Bristol, they were good on the counter-attack and took their chances.

"We hardly had any chances. It's disappointing, but we'll learn from it and I'm sure on Saturday we'll get the three points against Liverpool.

"It's massive that we win on Saturday. We've been in training trying to sort out what went wrong because you learn a lot when you lose. That's football.

"We'll be ready for it and raring to go and get a victory before the break."

Following Saturday's match, Bradley will link up with the Team GB women's squad ahead of the London Olympics.

Despite being a regular in Hope Powell's England team, Bradley insisted the call-up still came as a shock after she missed the first part of the season with an ankle injury.

"I was shocked because I've been out injured for a long time and only came back a few weeks ago. I'm really excited and looking forward to it," she added.

Team-mate Casey Stoney has also been named in an 18-player squad which features 16 English players and two Scots.

Bradley believes that continuity could be invaluable during the Games.

"I'm sure that will help. We'll have a couple of weeks together to get us ready for the first game against New Zealand," she said.

"But I'm sure the other girls will slot in, they're good, quality players and I'm looking forward to playing with them.

"Hopefully we'll get off to a good start and see where it takes us."

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