SAINTS Women's captain Rosie Parnell believes her side could be higher in the table despite being only point point off top spot.

Southampton FC Women currently sit third in the Barclays Women's Championship on 21 behind Sunderland (22 points) and Charlton Athletic (22 points).

Marieanne Spacey-Cale's side have already lost four games this season - including both fixtures against the teams above them in the league.

Speaking to Saints' club media, Parnell outlined her feelings on the season so far, saying: "Overall it’s been a good start to the season. We could have been better in a few games and not lost as many games as we have.

“The expectation this season was to get promoted, we have made that quite clear. We are still in a really good place. If you are aiming for promotion you want to be in and around the top. I think we could be higher, but we are still just one point off the top.”

Saints haven't played a league game since November 19 due to the Continental Cup and women's international break.

Their last Championship outing saw them record a dramatic 4-3 win over fellow promotion hopefuls Crystal Palace in a thrilling game at Selhurst Park.

It was the perfect way to bounce back from defeat against Charlton the previous week and injected some crucial confidence into the camp.

“We were really disappointed with ourselves against Charlton," Parnell continued. “Everyone got together and we spoke really well as a team about what went wrong and where we can improve.

“We had a training session off the back of that and the reaction from every single player was unbelievable.

“We deserved the win. We created a lot of chances (against Palace). It’s probably one of our best performances in terms of going forward.

“We don’t want to be conceding three goals. I don't think it can be our best performance overall because of that.

“The Reading away game was a really good performance and the second half against Lewes was really good."

Asked how she would like the season to be defined, Parnell responded: "Promotion. That is our aim and we are still in a very good position to do so.

"There are certainly areas where we need to improve and continue to push for more."