Birmingham City boss Carla Ward says that this weekend’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup clash against Coventry United is a brilliant opportunity for her side to build some momentum ahead of the final few weeks of the season.
Ward’s side currently sit in ninth place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table and are winless in 11 league games, however, Sunday’s tie against second tier side Coventry United is a game that she believes that The Blues can confidently go and win, regaining some momentum in the process.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Ward said “We’re looking forward to it. Whilst we want to finish the league and our focus is on the league, it will be a nice break to let the girls go and enjoy themselves.
“It’s a cup game, the FA Cup is something everyone wants to be involved with but it gives us the chance to make some changes and give some players some minutes.”
Ward feels that her side have struggled for possession in many games this season but believes that this weekend’s game against FA Women’s Championship opposition could help give her side a much-needed boost.
She added “We need to get out there on the front foot and be aggressive but we also need to go out there and enjoy ourselves.
“Ultimately we want to win the game, it will be a chance for the players to go and have some time on the ball which we have struggled for this season. It’s a real good chance to go and dominate possession and we’ll look to do that.
“Ruesha (Littlejohn) is suspended and serves a one match ban after five yellow cards, so we will be missing her and we have also got a couple of players with niggles who we will leave out.
“Whichever 11 players are selected, they will need to be relentless and aggressive because this is an opportunity for a different game plan, so I want them to go out there and sharpen the quality and we should come out with the win.”
Last season saw Birmingham City reach the semi-finals of the competition, a run which Ward is confident that her side can replicate this term.
She said “You’d like to think we can do it. I think ultimately, we’ve avoided any WSL teams in the next round if we can progress through against Coventry, so ultimately we will get the winners of either Lewes or Southampton and we’ve avoided any of the big guns.
“It gives us a potential chance of reaching the quarter-finals, it’s something the club want to achieve so we will certainly give it a go.
“It’s the FA Cup though, anything can happen and I’ve been with teams within the Championship that have faced WSL opposition and we’ve turned up on the day and got a result.
“We can’t underestimate Coventry, so I will make sure that we prepare properly ahead of this weekend.”
Birmingham City’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Coventry United is scheduled to kick-off at 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon and will be broadcast live on the BBC Red Button.