The Dugout: Ladies #8
Date: 23 February 2018 at 11:51 by Liam Cook
This week Coventry United Ladies travel down south to Plymouth Argyle Ladies in the FA Womens’ Premier League Cup. Red and Green Girls manager Jay Bradford previews the club’s second Quarter Final in seven days and looks back at the previous match at Wolves with CUTV’s Liam Cook.
Liam - Let’s start with the victory at Wolves last weekend. It proved to be a simple 3-1 win. Were you pleased with the performance?
Jay - I was pleased, yes. Elements that Matt (First Team Coach) has been chipping away at in training really came out, so that was a huge positive. We had some really good moments, not only on the ball, but also off the ball in regards to our defensive shape. As a group we have also gone over the goal and picked up on where we should have looked after it better or dropped in to give better cover.
Liam - Two of United’s three goals came from outside the box. Is that a sign of the growing confidence of your attacking players?
Jay - I think we are capable of scoring all kinds of goals. The goal from the corner was a highlight for me, as I like set pieces, and I felt we executed it perfectly, which we haven't done in previous weeks. Our attackers have no reason not to be confident, we encourage them to take risks and cause problems in the final third.
Liam - The late Wolves goal seemed to kick the home side into life. What was your approach to that final ten minutes when Wolves tried in vain to turn the deficit around?
Jay – The goal certainly did give them a boost. I expressed to the players that they needed to maintain good shape and make good decisions to keep the result in our favour. Apart from the goal, Sue (Wood) made one real save, the other efforts were routine, so I was never panicked by Wolves and their burst of energy in the last ten minutes.
Liam - This weekend sees the Ladies compete in another cup quarter final at Plymouth Argyle in the FA WPL Cup. What are United’s chances of progressing to a second Semi Final in seven days?
Jay – We are confident, but we are under no illusion that Plymouth will pose a very real threat to us. You don't make the Quarter Final of a cup if you're an average side. We have to nullify the threat they pose, take our game to them and play in the right areas.
Liam - The initial intention was for the players to stay the night on Saturday, but now the side will travel on the Sunday morning. Will this long journey have an effect on the players ahead of such a big match?
Jay - It's a shame the game was pushed back because, as you say, we had planned a stop over and unfortunately we haven't managed to do that this time round. I don't think it will affect us because we are used to making long trips and it’s become the norm for us as a group. The journey feels twice as long if you lose though.
Liam - The winner of Sunday’s match will face Blackburn Rovers in the Semi Final. Will the prospect of a big away tie in the next round spur the girls on?
Jay - We haven't even mentioned the potential tie against Blackburn. We are giving Plymouth our full attention, so the only motivation the players need is that there is a spot in the semi final up for grabs.
Fancy joining the Red and Green Girls on the road this weekend? Places on the coach to Plymouth are still available for just £12.50 per person. 8am departure from Cross Point, Walsgrave. Get in touch with the club to book your place.