Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward is looking forward to taking on the ‘best team in Europe’ as the Blues travel to Kingsmeadow to face Barclays FA Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
Ward’s side currently sit in ninth place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, four points above the relegation zone. They meet a Chelsea side this weekend which reached the Women’s UEFA Champions League semi-finals in midweek following an impressive 5-1 aggregate victory over VfL Wolfsburg.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Ward expressed nothing but praise for this weekend’s opponents.
Ward said “Chelsea are right now the best team in Europe, their performance on Wednesday against Wolfsburg was absolutely outstanding and one of the best women’s performances I have seen.
“They came to our place in September and they are a side you have to sometimes step back to applaud.
“They have got unbelievable players and an outstanding manager.
“Emma Hayes has been there for me a lot this season, so we’ll go there and enjoy the occasion against one of the best teams in Europe by a country stretch.”
Ward’s side haven’t won in the previous ten league games, but they go into this fixture off the back of the 1-1 draw against Bristol City, a game which Ward still wasn’t fully happy about.
She added “I know I can be emotional sometimes in post-match, but I think my views are exactly the same. We were absolutely diabolical in the first half but we were much better in the second half.
“I think we are going to have to be better for ninety minutes.
“The first half wasn’t acceptable for anybody. We have to be collectively better as a team.
“This week has been really good though and they’ve been unbelievable in training.
Ward has the luxury of a near-fully fit squad available for this weekend’s fixture which could see the return of both Heidi Logan and Veatriki Sarri to the matchday squad.
“We are near enough to a fully fit squad,” Ward said. “Heidi (Logan) and Veatriki (Sarri) are closing in on a return and will travel with the squad. It might be too soon for them this weekend but it will be a good opportunity for them to travel and be involved.
“Emily Murphy missed last week with an eye injury and she will definitely return but Chloe McCarron has had to go back to Ireland for family reasons, so we will be without her unfortunately.”
Birmingham City’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Chelsea is scheduled to kick-off at 12.30pm on Easter Sunday and will be screened live on the BBC Red Button and on the FA Player.