Lauren Smith: Bristol City boss pleased with team's ability to score goals in WSL

Amalie Thestrup celebrates with a team-mate after scoring for Bristol City against Everton
Amalie Thestrup (right) is Bristol City's top scorer this season with four goals

Bristol City manager Lauren Smith said she is pleased her team are scoring goals despite a tough start to the season since returning to the Women's Super League.

The Robins have won one of their first seven games and came from behind to draw 2-2 at Everton on Sunday.

While bottom of the WSL table with four points, they are only four points behind Leicester City in seventh.

Their tally of nine goals is also the joint highest of the bottom five teams.

"We're scoring goals - that's coming to us and I know that will get us points one way or the other," Smith told BBC Radio Bristol.

"We've come from behind but we can find ways to put the ball in the back of the net."

However, Bristol City have conceded the most goals of any club this season with 20, including four at home to Leicester and five at Manchester City, and are yet to keep a clean sheet.

Smith said the challenge is to strengthen their defence without losing their potency up front.

"We've had a hard lesson at the start of the season with Man City away and that was a bit of a wake-up call. We don't want to be in that situation again, that's for sure," she said.

"There is part of us that wants to make sure we are tight and resilient at the back that it is harder for teams to score against us, and that is still something we're working towards.

"But at the same time we can't lose all of our attacking threat.

"We've changed our shape to be quite a hard-to-break-down block, but what I'm pleased at is we can get out of that block and into the final third and create goals. We need to make sure that there is a balance of both."

Crowd records keep tumbling

City remain without first-choice goalkeeper Fran Bentley who was injured in the first game of the season and likely to be out for at least the next couple of weeks, while keeper Kaylan Marckese - who signed this summer - is also still on the sidelines.

They next face Tottenham on Wednesday in the Continental League Cup, before hosting Manchester United in the WSL on Sunday at Ashton Gate in front of a record-breaking crowd, with more than 12,000 tickets sold.

Smith said the team are taking confidence from their 2-1 defeat by Arsenal this season when they were level until the 59th minute.

"We're still disappointed with how those goals went in," Smith said.

"So we'll use that going into Manchester United, but they've got a very good squad and they can change the game with their bench as well.

"We have to be on our game on Sunday, that's for sure."

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