The Dugout: Ladies #9
Date: 02 March 2018 at 16:07 by Liam Cook
This week Coventry United Ladies compete in their first of two cup Semi Finals. United manager Jay Bradford talks through her views on the previous victory at Plymouth, the County Cup draw and this weekend's trip to Blackburn with CUTV's Liam Cook.
Liam - Another quarter final last weekend, another win, this time in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup. Did you expect the level of cup success we’ve seen this season?
Jay – As a group we sat down and set ourselves targets that we felt we wanted to achieve this season. The league cup is not a cup we have been hugely successful in, so for us to reach the Semi-final is a real boost for the players, and highlights the improvements that have been made over the last few seasons. We have made the final of the county cup for the last seven years so that is certainly something we want to achieve again. In regards to the FA cup, again we had expectations and to come away from a WSL2 side disappointed shows the level we want to be at.
Liam - There was no doubt United were the better side, but was a 3-0 scoreline fair on a hard working Plymouth team?
Jay – I was impressed with Plymouth. I would like to see them promoted as I think they would be a real force in the WPL Southern Division. I felt we were better than 3-0, we hit the woodwork twice and their keeper made some good saves. It looks a harsh result from a Plymouth perspective, but we played some superb football and deserve credit for that.
Liam - The conditions certainly make an impact during the game with temperatures close to freezing and high speed winds. How does the game plan change when the players are confronted by conditions like these?
Jay – The weather certainly was testing. I think it comes down to decision making from the players when the wind is having such an impact on the game. We always look to play and the girls stuck to that, but at times with the wind we had to be sensible and clear our lines as Plymouth were ready to pounce on any errors. Running against the wind is also energy zapping, so the players have to make the most of the conditions when the wind is behind them or they are going down the hill, and I felt with did that on Sunday.
Liam - When asked about our potential County Cup opponents, you said if there was one team you’d prefer not to play it would be West Brom, and that’s exactly who we’ve got. What was your reaction when you learned of the draw?
Jay – Since being the first team manager, I have played WBA twice and lost in both cup finals, so avoiding them until the final would have been preferable, but that's obviously not the case. I am confident the players will go in to the semi-final and give WBA a real game and put to bed the demons of the last two county cup finals. I trust my players more than they probably know, so any game, any occasion I would back them without hesitation.
Liam - The WPL Cup semi final at Blackburn will be played this Sunday at Sir Tom Finney Stadium (weather permitting). What are United’s chances of making the final?
Jay - I think Blackburn will have to produce some form of miracle to get the game on. Blackburn are league winners and are back competing this season, so they will of course be a threat and they will be confident about taking us on. If we stick to our game plan and execute our performance with quality, I think we will give Blackburn something really difficult to deal with.