BIRMINGHAM City Ladies captain Karen Carney reviews the past fortnight which has seen her come off the treatment table and play a part in league and cup wins for the side and she also looked ahead to the FA Women’s Super League One away games against Arsenal (played on Wednesday night) and Liverpool on Saturday.
“THE topic of the fortnight has been response. We wanted to get a positive response after the previous two games which saw us lose in the Champions League away to Swedish side Tyreso FF and then in the FA Cup to Arsenal.
We faced Villa in the Continental Cup and beat them 2-0. We wanted this really badly because we pretty much have to win all our games in this cup to get to the final and because it was against our local rivals. We could have scored more and been more clinical as we had the chances to do so, but it was a great result and keeps us on track after beating Yeovil 2-1 away.
Again against Chelsea in the league on Sunday it was about getting the result, especially when we were at home as we don’t want to be getting involved in a relegation battle, and it was great to win 2-1.”
“To beat Chelsea with the money they have spent on players was a great result. You have to scrap and get the points when you can and that’s what we did. I think the first half we were in control popping it around and they couldn’t deal with our formation and we went into the break one goal up.
They changed their formation at half time and we conceded off a set play but we continued our game and got a penalty, which unfortunately I missed. However, with this team, nothing is a setback and, even though some of the players are really young, they have a strong mentality and a professional outlook.
The team is disciplined, keeps its shape and will always create chances. It was a fantastic header by (Jo) Potter to make it 2-1 but I have to make a special mention of (Rebecca) Spencer who pulled off four or five great saves and kept us in it.
It’s not just those who are scoring that do the business, it’s the defence, goalkeeper and bench players and if we want to get momentum and go on a run it has to be all about the group and not individuals. That’s why we have had early successes this season and why we will have successes at the end of season, hopefully.”
“Following the trip to Arsenal we travel to face Liverpool on Saturday. Obviously they are last season’s champions and deservedly so. I have been to watch them and they are strong. However, they have been struggling with injuries the past two games but unfortunately a couple of players are coming back for the game against us.
They have a great squad and will equally be looking for a good response at the 3G after recent results have not quite gone their way.”
“I still have my sciatica problem and struggled a little bit with it on Sunday. I think the break after Liverpool will be good for me. I should be in contention for the England games away against Belarus and Ukraine in the World Cup qualifiers next month.
So, after Saturday’s game against Liverpool, I will have some time to rest before the next league game, which is at home against Manchester City at the end of June.
Before that though we really want two good results against Arsenal and Liverpool so we can go into the break with a strong league position after drawing one and winning one so far.
This would mean keeping the recent two-win run going and would also boost our hopes of playing in the Champions League again next season.
We would all love to be playing in another Champions League and to do that we need to have a really strong season and finish in the top two places.
We made the semi-finals this year and we would relish the chance to compete at that level again – so we are all well motivated.”