The Dugout: Ladies #2
Date: 04 January 2018 at 16:17 by Liam Cook
As 2018 begins, Coventry United Ladies return to the pitch after a well earned festive break. The Red and Green Girls travel to Crystal Palace in the Womens’ FA Cup Third Round on Sunday. CULFC manager Jay Bradford talks to CUTV’s Liam Cook ahead of her side’s first match in 4 weeks…
Liam - Jay, welcome back. After over a month away from football are you glad you’re back in the Dugout on Sunday?
Jay - It feels like an age since we last played!! I can not wait to be back out there with the players.
Liam - As well as the coaching staff, the players have enjoyed a well earned break too. How have they settled back into the routine?
Jay - The break was very much needed. A little bit of time to reflect is always good. The girls came back absolutely on form (even during the running). We have done 3 pitch sessions this week so it’s been straight back in at the deep end. We have covered a lot of content and the girls have been really receptive.
Liam - What a way to start 2018. A trip to Crystal Palace in the Womens’ FA Cup Third Round. Are there added nerves or determination from the players when it comes to cup ties?
Jay - We obviously want to progress in all cup competitions, but for me there is less pressure on the players as these games are almost bonus games. They are an opportunity to showcase yourself as an individual and a team on platforms such as the FA Cup. The players love cup games, who doesn't dream of playing in cup finals?
Liam - When you spoke to CUTV after the 0-0 draw at Palace earlier in the season, you said you were happy to take a draw after a a certain part of the game. Are you as relaxed regarding this encounter or are you going all out for the win?
Jay - Last time out a point for us was something that we needed, we had gone through a tough couple of weeks and dropped points, so we had a game plan and it worked. I never go into cup games looking for anything but a win. It's a one off game where anything can happen and if you lose, the repercussions are a bit of a sulk and move on, not other teams leapfrogging you and winning league titles. So it's all guns blazing with one aim and focus.
Liam - Three of the Ladies’ four matches in January are away from home. Given the condition of the Butts Park Arena pitch and the recent poor weather not helping the situation, is this a blessing in disguise?
Jay – Yes, it probably is. All pitches need a bit of TLC at this time of year, so if the Butts has some rest time that can only be positive. We have played the majority of our away games already this season, so it's becoming normal to get on a coach on a Sunday anyway.
Liam - And finally, ahead of the first match of 2018, what is the Red and Green Girls’ New Years’ Resolution?
Jay - Our New Year's Resolution from my point of view is to stick together. Players play for Cov because they love what it means to be a Cov player. They have each other’s backs and strive to achieve things as a collective. So maintaining and growing that will be what we aim in 2018. Although if you ask the players, i'm sure their resolution would be no more running drills.
Catch live commentary of Coventry United Ladies’ trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday 7th January 2018 with Coventry United TV on YouTube. Coverage starts at 12.45pm, with video highlights to follow9+