WOMEN'S boss Marieanne Spacey-Cale insisted that Southampton's focus is on their league game against Birmingham ahead of hosting Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Saints fell to a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend which saw them miss a chance to go top of the Barclays Women's Championship.

Instead, the south coast side slipped down to fourth, but they remain just three points off league leaders Charlton Athletic.

By contrast, Manchester United sit fourth in the Women's Super League and boast a squad packed with internationals.

While she admits she is excited for her side to face United, Spacey-Cale is keen to ensure attention remains on the push for promotion.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Spacey-Cale said: "It is a nice game, but our focus has to be on Birmingham.

"Crystal Palace and Birmingham are the two games in February that we really have to focus on. Man United is a free-hit.

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"We will prepare for that one and enjoy it and try to perform to the levels we know we can perform.

"But we have to be ready for our league game against Birmingham more than anything."

That sentiment was echoed by current Saints Women's captain Lucia Kendall. "Everyone is really excited, that game is a free-hit really," she added. 

"We are the underdogs, we can go and play our football. We can express ourselves. We enjoy playing against the big teams so it is a really exciting opportunity."