We won't take anything for granted against Huddersfield - West Ham's Jane Ross
PUBLISHED: 16:48 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 14 February 2019
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West Ham Women striker Jane Ross said the side won’t be underestimating Huddersfield Town when they meet in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
The Hammers meet the third-tier side at Rush Green at the weekend following a 3-1 win over Blackburn in the last round.
And while Town currently sit second in the National League Northern Premier Division, Ross said the players knew how their opponents put out Championship side Charlton Athletic in the last round.
Huddersfield were 3-0 down with 15 minutes to go, only to draw 3-3 and eventually go through on penalties.
“Obviously, it’s the FA Cup, anything can happen and all teams are always up for the knock-out stages, so I think we definitely can’t underestimate Huddersfield,” said Ross, speaking to The East London Football Podcast.
“It’s gonna be a tough game on Sunday.”
It comes after two Adriana Leon goals - the Canadian’s first since signing for the Hammers - and one from Brianna Visalli put paid to Blackburn last weekend.
“It was great to get the win,” said Ross. “Obviously disappointing to concede the goal, but I think the majority of the match we dominated and we created a number of opportunities to see out the game.”
The Cup comes as a diversion for the women following a difficult run in the WSL. Consecutive defeats to title-challenging Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as Liverpool, see the team lying seventh.
“I think, yeah, we always knew it was gonna be a challenging league for us,” said Ross.
“I think performance-wise we’ve put in some decent performances and are continuing to grow and develop as a group as the season’s gone on.
“So I think, yeah, we’ve obviously got a number of league games left and we’re looking to continue to grow and improve as each game comes.”
With eight goals in all competitions this season Ross is the club’s leading scorer, but said the statistics were not what mattered.
“I’m obviously happy to get on the score sheet and to be scoring goals, but first and foremost it’s team performance and the results that matter to me.”
And, having played for Vittsjö GIK in Sweden, she has also been a kind of mentor off the pitch to an increasingly cosmopolitan Hammers squad hailing from Canada, South Korea, Germany and beyond.
“I’ve obviously played for three seasons in Sweden, so I know what it’s like as a foreign player to go to a different country and different culture and have to settle and fit in,” she said.
“So I think having had that experience, I can then relate to what the foreign girls at the club are now going through and try to help them out whatever way I can.
“It’s a really good group. We’ve all got on well on and off the pitch and I think, yeah, it’s an enjoyable environment to be in.”
Beyond this season Ross is looking ahead to the World Cup in France, having scored the goal against Albania that qualified her country for the first time.
Scotland are in group D with England and the two sides meet in Nice on June 9.
“Obviously it’s an exciting summer for the Scotland national team and, for me, I’d like to be on that plane going there. Firstly, though, I’ve got some important games and another three months of the season here at West Ham and that’s my focus at the moment,” she said.
The club hope for a bumper ground at Rush Green on Sunday with ticket prices slashed and the men’s team having a weekend off.
“It’s really important,” said Ross. “I think our home crowd so far this season has been amazing - very supportive and very vocal. That really helps us as players to go out there and perform.
“Go with the standard cliché - we take every game as it comes. But of course our goal and our aim is to go and win the FA Cup. And yeah, we’re gonna give it our best shot.”
Tickets for the game against Huddersfield are just £5 for adults and £1 for children. Kick-off is 2pm
There are also a limited number of FREE tickets available for local schools and junior teams. If you’re a teacher or run a local junior team, claim your free tickets by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12pm this Saturday
Hear Jane Ross on this week’s East London Football Podcast - available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Audioboom and Spotify from tomorrow evening