Albion defender Fliss Gibbons is looking forward to playing in front of fans, no matter how many there are.

The Government announced in their Covid- Winter plan last week that fans will be able to return to stadiums in tiers one and two.

This weekend will be the first time that the WSL has had fans at a match since February when rising Covid-19 cases caused the league to stop nearly seven months.

Albion travel to Spurs on Sunday, who will be welcoming a limited number of home fans to the Hive Stadium for the game.

Despite, no away fans being able to attend, Gibbons cannot wait to see the crowds.

She said: “Obviously, it has been different. I think not having the fans in the stadium has made a difference to the atmosphere when you are playing.

“But I think as well for a lot of us not having close family and friends being able to be there to watch us has hit us quite hard.

“I know it is only home fans at the moment, but it is brilliant that we will be able to have some fans eventually at Crawley and I am really excited for Tottenham and that they will be able to have some fans there this weekend.”

The Argus:

Albion got good attendance figures in the WSL last season before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, with an average of 959 fans watching on.

Hope Powell’s side formed quite a bond with the fans, as they would always take the time to go after a game and sign autographs and interact with their supporters.

The Seagulls will have to wait till next weekend to allow fans into The People’s Pension Stadium, as they host Chelsea.

The good news is they will be allowed up to 1300 supporters to cheer them on.

But Gibbons admits not having fans there has made the players realise how important they are.

She said: “It has been different. You don’t realise the difference that they make until they are not there.

“I think now we have probably built up quite a loyal fanbase, who are there at most games. There are a lot of young girls, who look up to us and come to a lot of our games now.

“So, the fanbase has improved over the years and we definitely have noticed them not being there.

“But we cannot wait for them to be back.”

Albion sit eighth in the WSL with eight points from their first seven games.

If they can pick up a win over Spurs they could even move to sixth place if other results also go their way.

However, Gibbons knows that Albion can afford to take their position for granted.

She said: “We always set high expectations, but at the same time we are very aware that some of our performances have been substandard thus far this season.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves, we picked up a good three points against West Ham but they are probably struggling for a bit of form at that moment.

“So, like I say we are not getting ahead of ourselves but ultimately, we are just going to take every game as it comes and hopefully pick up the points.

“A mid-table finish is the sort of areas we are aiming for, but we are not just going to be complacent. It will be a massive game this weekend and against that can sort of boost our points tally quite significantly if we do get the wins.

“So of course, we will be looking to go there and pick up the three points, but we are very aware it is going to be a very tough game.”

One area of the pitch which has been up for grabs this season is in goal.

Both Megan Walsh and Cecilie Fiskerstrand have been in fine form and that has left Powell with a difficult decision as to who starts in between the sticks.

And Gibbons believes that Albion are lucky to have two great shot-stoppers in the squad.

She said: “It is massive for us.

“We have got Meg and Ceci that are both international standard goalkeepers if we are being honest.

“Meg’s record in the super league, the amount of saves she has made speaks for itself and she has been pivotal in some of our performances.

“Ceci is an international goalkeeper for Norway, her status speaks for itself.

“So, it is really important that in games that are a bit gritty or a bit messy that we can trust if it gets through to the keeper, that they are going to put in a performance.

“It is a real vote of confidence having two goalkeepers who we can rely on.”