Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward believes that her side are likely to secure Barclays FA Women’s Super League survival for another year should they defeat Reading on Sunday.
Ward’s side recorded their first victory in 12 matches in all competitions last weekend with a 5-1 win over FA Women’s Championship side Coventry United in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup and the Blues boss feels that the momentum taken from last weekend’s win can be carried into their crucial league game against Reading.
Speaking in her pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were in attendance, Ward commented on how a win this weekend could be enough to see her side secure safety with three league games still to play.
“If we win this then I’d say we’re safe” said Ward. “The players have been good this week. Despite winning 5-1 last weekend, we weren’t happy with our performance but the reaction from the girls this week in training has been very good.
“The fact that we are now unbeaten in our last three games at home should give the girls some fight. It’s funny because the mood in camp is brilliant and you’d think because of our league position that it would dip but it’s been excellent for months now.
“The mentality of the group is very good and they know what they need to do to kick on.”
Ward’s side currently sit in 10th place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, two points clear of bottom side Bristol City. They are preparing to take on a mid-table Reading side who haven’t won in any of their previous six games in all competitions but Ward knows it will be another tough test for her side.
She added “We absolutely don’t want to lose the game. I think a point will do the job and it would put us in a good position. I’ve got a spreadsheet on all the possibilities for all four clubs involved in the run in so depending on what happens on Sunday, a point may well be enough anyway.
“You never know which Reading are going to turn up. They have an unbelievable squad of players and good management. I’m expecting a tough test. I have a lot of respect for Reading, they’re an exceptional side with a lot of quality.
“Everyone knows when you’ve been on the back of a run that they have been on, mindset and confidence might be low but they have a lot of experience and they will try and make that count by wanting to bounce back.
“They’ve had some interesting results of late, hopefully we can be at it which gives us a chance of claiming some points.”
Ward has a fully fit squad available ahead of this weekend’s game which could see forward Veatriki Sarri keep place her in the starting XI after starring against Coventry United last weekend. However, Ward did reveal the news that midfielder Chloe McCarron had reached a mutual agreement with Birmingham City and that the player has departed the club.
Birmingham City’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Reading is scheduled to kick-off at 2pm on Sunday afternoon and will be available for fans to stream live on the FA Player.