Birmingham City boss Carla Ward says that her first season as head coach has been a success and has helped her grow and develop.
The Blues take on Tottenham Hotspur in their final Barclays FA Women’s Super League game of the season at the SportNation.bet Stadium on Sunday. The Midlands club currently sit two points above the relegation zone but are likely to secure their survival.
Speaking in her pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s game, Ward commented on the highs and lows that have been thrown at her side this season.
“This season has been a success,” said Ward. “If I had to sum it up – the last 10 months have felt like 10 years, I feel like I’ve grown and I’ve developed.
“I wouldn’t have changed a single minute of it, surprisingly, because I think that the real tough times have allowed me to develop from a leadership point of view, from a management point of view. I think the way I now handle things has drastically improved – I used to be quite a hot-head but I’m actually quite relaxed now.
“It has been fascinating, it really has but from the moment I sat in the garden and considered taking this job to now – best decision I ever made because it really has been fascinating and one I’ll never forget.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s game against Spurs, Ward knows that her side will face another tough test but she is eager for her players to go out and get revenge with the North Londoners having being handed an automatic three points after her side failed to fulfil the reverse fixture in January.
She added “There is no bigger motivation for us than the fact that they have previously taken three points off us and the girls aren’t happy about that.
“Ultimately, we want to win the game but despite Spurs being on a run without a win, they’re a very good side. Rehanne (Skinner) has got them well-drilled and very well-organised. They’re a good side and they’ll be tough to play against.
“Despite losing 2-0 to Chelsea in midweek, I thought they played well. They’re no mugs, they’re a side full of quality so we’re expecting a tough game this weekend.
“My message is clear to these players, go out there and enjoy it. Play the last game with freedom and be fierce.”
The Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture between Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur is scheduled to kick-off at 2.30pm on Sunday and will be available for fans to stream live on the FA Player.