The Dugout: Ladies #6
Date: 09 February 2018 at 14:23 by Liam Cook
It’s back to league action for the Red and Green Girls following a 4-1 FA Cup defeat at Millwall. United manager Jay Bradford talks to CUTV’s Liam Cook about the cup exit and the upcoming league tie at home to Swindon
Liam - Last weekend the FA Cup journey came to an end in a 4-1 defeat at Super League 2 outfit Millwall. How did the players feel about their performance after the game?
Jay - Their overriding emotion was disappointment. They were disappointed in themselves for not showcasing themselves in the manner in which we had prepared for and are capable of. We agreed that all four goal were avoidable and we have worked hard in training this week to rectify those issues that we faced against Millwall.
Liam - Last weekend was your first lost since November. How can you lift the players spirits ahead of the Swindon game and get back to winning ways?
Jay - I think it's a collective group effort. I am happy they are disappointed because it shows they aren't willing to settle for a below average performance, even against higher opposition. The girls application this week has been brilliant, no moping, just people taking responsibility and working hard to be better.
Liam - You said after the Millwall defeat that nerves played a part in the early stages of the match. Is some work on mentality in order if United are to progress to the Super League?
Jay - The girls work with our club psychologist so all the tools are there for them to achieve what they are capable of. Players need to manage themselves and not hide in those big moments. If the players truly want to be Super League players they need to step up when we have our backs against the wall. I know they can do it, I have witnessed them do it. They just need to believe it and follow it through with real purpose.
Liam - Swindon have played 15 games and lost all of them. Should the fans expect a victory at the Butts Park Arena on Sunday?
Jay - I think our fans expect victory whoever we are playing. Swindon's league position and current record is one that I am sure they want to change. Despite recent losses they have scored goals and games have been closer than maybe they were in the opening months of the season. They are clearly working hard and we need to be ready for a team that is fighting for survival. People have already written them off so they have nothing to lose and that can cause opposition big problems.
Liam - Finally United have a match in the league, this first since November. Could you have imagined you’d have to wait so long just to get back to the league campaign? How has the extended break between league encounters effected your season?
Jay - Its credit to the girls that we have waited so long for a league fixture because obviously until last week we were still in all cup competitions which pushed league fixtures back. We are all certainly looking forward to trying to scratch off a few of those games in hand and hopefully getting 3 more points on the board. I tend to work game to game so that stops players looking ahead to games that are not the immediate next fixture, so we have managed it well as group and we just need to hit the ground running Sunday.
Liam - After playing on an artificial surface last weekend, will the ‘weathered’ turf at the Butts be a shock to the system? Will it effect the type of football we will see on Sunday?
Jay - Playing on an artificial pitch is always nice because obviously you can get the ball down and there is no hiding place. The Butts is what it is, we know it’s not a bowling green, but we have a philosophy and a style that we want people to come and see and enjoy watching. We have to be adaptable and deal with the conditions we are faced with.