November 13, 2020 by Stephen L Wright
It’s Derby Day Eve. Tomorrow, Blues travel up the road to meet Aston Villa for the first time since August 2018 when they played in the Conti Cup. Blues won 2-0. Sarah Mayling got a mention in the match report for the way that she exploited space down the right. Something that she has continued to build on to great effect. Sadly, she was tackled badly last week and had to be subbed. At the time of writing, her availability for tomorrow is unknown.
Sarah is only one of four players that faced Villa last time out, which shows the changes that have taken place in not much over two years. Back then, the Head Coach was Marc Skinner and he didn’t always have a good time of it. Now it’s Carla Ward with a different philosophy that is paying dividends, as the club has moved up the table. Last week’s game at West Ham is perhaps one to put away. It wasn’t the team’s finest hour and against form to that point. Before the game Ward said that it would not be an easy one and “we have to be at our very best to get something from it.” About tomorrow’s game she said: “It is about trying to make sure we approach it in the right way and how we want to play, and then the occasion will take care of itself.” Tomorrow’s opponents are new to the League. COVID-19 has left them two games in hand, so they haven’t really got started. Last week they beat Brighton to pick up their first win. They’ll be looking for a second. The players will be buzzing from the win. I have no doubt they will want to be at their very best and approach it in the right way, knowing that it’s a needle match and one they have to win.
Blues come into this game with the better record, but so they did last week. Ward has imbued in her new charges a spirit of being hungry for the win. She has raised their self-confidence and their confidence in their fellow players. They have shown that they can play good, flowing football, unsettle the opposition and, perhaps ultimately, score goals. So, it’s about skill, of course, but even more so tomorrow, it’s about mentality. As far as Blues are concerned, it’s time for a reset.
Match report to follow. Until then…
Stay safe and KRO