Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward has described Hannah Hampton as the ‘best-performing goalkeeper in the league’ ahead of her side’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Arsenal this weekend.
The Blues take on The Gunners at St George’s Park this Sunday, as they look to record their first league win in six games.
In the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Ward said “I don’t think she (Hampton) gets
the credit she deserves to be honest, I think right now she is probably the best-performing goalkeeper in the league.
“I think she’s got it all, and I look at her competition with England and I start to think she isn’t far away.
“I think last time we played Arsenal she made 21 saves, which is single-handily the most saves anyone has made in the league this season, which shows how important of a player she is to us.”
Looking back on last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, Ward saw positives in her side’s performance despite the heavy loss.
She commented by saying “We’re that team that nobody wants to play against and we defended brilliantly.
“We know how to frustrate teams and know how to nullify and take away the pockets that they want to play in.
“We executed the game plan fairly well and we were disappointed with a few of the goals that we conceded, but it’s important that we carry on the journey we’re on, and those points will come sooner rather than later.”
Birmingham City last tasted victory with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa back in November and Ward knows that it won’t be easy as they come up against Arsenal, and the league’s top goalscorer in Vivianne Miedema.
“She has been fascinating and one of the most grounded individuals in the league this season,” Ward said. “She is an unbelievable player, someone who I enjoy watching. We know that we will have to kill that space that she likes to drop into, and we need to try and take that away to nullify her threat.
“We can only do what we can, but ultimately she’s one of the best forwards in the world in scintillating form, so we are going to have to be 100% at it to stop her.”
Birmingham City’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Arsenal is scheduled to kick-off at 2pm on Sunday and will be available for fans to stream live on the FA Player.
Article author: Brad Saxton