Neil Redfearn: FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur will be ‘brilliant’ test for Sheffield United
Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn says the FA Cup tie against WSL side Tottenham Hotspur will be a "brilliant" test for his team.
The Blades have made no secret of their desire to gain promotion to the top tier of women’s football in England and finished the 2020/21 Women’s Championship campaign in fourth spot.
They meet Spurs, now in their second season in the top flight, in the fifth round on Sunday, 16 May after demolishing Middlesbrough Women 9-0 in round four.
Their higher division opponents are currently eighth in the WSL and have won just three of their last 13 matches in league and cup stretching back to 17 January, losing on eight occasions in that time.
Meanwhile, United have won seven of their last nine and have lost just once in a game where they missed two penalties.
“It's a test, it's good to pit yourselves against sides at the level above,” said Redfearn. “That's where we want to go and you are always looking to measure.
“It will be brilliant for the girls to test themselves."
Asked where Spurs rank among the teams in the top tier, Redfearn replied: “Probably top of the bottom half. They have had a lot of investment in the side.
“They are sort of in flux but they are a side that want to go places because of the investment.
"They are capable of getting results at that level, it will be a tough game for us but it will be a good game.”
Earlier this season Tottenham sacked their long-serving management duo Karen Hills Juan Amoros, who guided the club to promotion in the 2018/19 season, and replaced them with England assistant coach Rehanne Skinner.
Redfearn has just completed his first season in charge of Sheffield United after previously guiding Doncaster Rovers Belles to what was then the WSL 2 title in 2018.
“We are in the middle of a process," he said of his current team, “there's lots of signs there that are really good.”
"As you go on and develop these are the games that we have got to be really competing in and getting close in.”