The Ladies' Dugout #1Date: 15 December 2017 at 12:28 by Liam Cook
Over the past couple of months we have published in depth and insightful weekly written interviews with Coventry United First Team coaching staff, and now we are pleased to extend this to the Coventry United Ladies team. Welcome to the first edition of The Ladies' Dugout, with CUTV's Liam Cook and Coventry United Ladies' manager Jay Bradford
Liam - Victory against West Ham in the Womens’ FA Cup has been rewarded with a Third Round trip to Crystal Palace Ladies. Being the first team to stop Palace from winning in the league with a 0-0 draw back in September, can you go one better this time?
Jay - The West Ham result was a great one. There are many aspects of that performance I am extremely pleased with. We are rewarded with an away tie at Palace. As you say, we have gone there previously and frustrated them. Last time out we had a very specific game plan and it was executed perfectly by the players. I am confident that we can go there and not only frustrate them but also dominate the game. Moving through the rounds of the FA cup is exciting. I have said it before, whether you like football or not, you know exactly what the FA cup stands for. Palace are a good side of course and they will no doubt cause us problems, but they will be aware that we can do exactly the same. It's a fixture that we should be confident going in to.
Liam - Focus now turns to the League Cup this Sunday in a rearranged trip to Cambridge. Can playing lower league opposition be harder than playing those in our league?
Jay - It's certainly a different challenge, as you obviously know less about them and may have never played them before, so you have no experience to draw on. The league below is competitive and there is players and teams that could comfortably step in to the Northern or Southern Premier League divisions with no problems. I think what sets the leagues apart is the pace of the game and how quickly the ball is moved. My experience of playing lower league opposition is that they are hungry to take the scalp of a higher ranked team. They will graft and frustrate you, which can cause the tempo of the game to drop to a standard that suits the lower league team. We have to expect that Cambridge will be dogged and ready to scrap the game out. Our quality has to come to the fore so we can end our 2017 with our name in the next round.
Liam - The league season is officially half way over. How would you rate the team’s performance so far?
Jay - I would say on average I rate it as a solid 8/10. We strive for perfection week on week and that's great. I think the first half of the season has allowed us to establish our standards. As a group we know what is below the acceptable level and we also know the heights we have the capability of reaching. We now need to take that 8 and make it our minimum standard and not our average across the remaining games.
Liam - United have currently scored more goals and conceded less goals than all but one side in the league. Is the current 5th place position in the league true to performance?
Jay - I personally don't think 5th does us justice. We obviously have games in hand so I am confident we will climb when those games are ticked off. I am really pleased with our stats in regards to goals scored/conceded. The epitome of that was witnessing the frustration of conceding one against QPR despite the fact we scored 10. That attention to detail will stand us in good stead to move up the league.
Liam - At this stage of the season matches become more sporadic, with league fixtures 2 weeks apart on a regular basis. Does planning for an upcoming match change due to the added time to prepare?
Jay - As a manager I am really keen to only focus on the next immediate fixture, whether it’s a cup or league fixture. We are in every competition to win it so we have to prepare correctly and to do that each game has to have your full attention. I think the girls have brought into this mentality too which is great.
Liam - What is the priority for the second half of the season, league position or cup glory?
Jay – Both. As I said, week on week we strive for perfection so that would be winning the league, winning the league cup, winning the FA cup and winning the county cup. If we aren't here to attempt all of the above what's the point? Obviously we have expectations related to each competition. Winning the league is a club wide ambition so that naturally sits at the top of the list.