September 30th, 2016

Battling Blues defying the odds under the stewardship of David Parker

Battling Blues defying the odds under the stewardship of David Parker Battling Blues defying the odds under the stewardship of David Parker
Updated: 7:02 pm, Jun 08, 2016

DAVID Parker believes Birmingham City Ladies have proved their doubters wrong and will continue to do so when the second half of the 2016 Women’s Super League campaign gets back underway at the end of this month.

The Blues were dealt a hammer blow over the winter break after losing several key first team players including the likes of England star Karen Carney and goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer.

Their cause was not helped by another lengthy injury list which has limited first team regulars Kirsty Linnett, Coral-Jade Haines, Meaghan Sargeant and Alexandra Windell.

The new season began with three consecutive defeats but since then Parker’s side have gone on a five-game unbeaten run, ending with a 1-0 victory over Notts County Ladies which pushed the Blues up to third in the table.

“That last win will really kick us on now,” said Parker. “Some people have really kicked us down as relegation candidates after losing some big names but I think the performance against Notts County really summed us up.

“But we’re not going to rest on our laurels, we’re ready to kick on and get ready for the other second half of the year.

“It was a gritty performance and that’s what we’re all about. The basics, hard work off the ball, a good defensive organisation and those things will really help you get three points.

“We haven’t scored may goals but you only need one to win a game of football.

A lack of goals was a big problem for the Blues last season and it continued to hinder them this season too with Parker’s side having scored just four goals in seven league matches.

“We know we’re not free-scoring and we do have to create more opportunities, but that comes from the whole pitch.

“You can’t just look at your centre forwards and go ‘you haven’t scored today’, goals have got to come from all over the pitch and you’ve also got to create chances.

“If you have a look, how many shots has Mel Lawley had on goal against Notts County? How many shot has Freda Ayisi had? The answer is not many. So it shows you we haven’t got into the positions to score, but Jo Potter, Jade Moore and Remi Allen have had the efforts and one of them made them count.”

With the club flying high in the Women’s Super League and following the arrival of German stars Marisa Ewers, Isabelle Linden and Corina Shroeder, Birmingham are certainly a club on the up.

And Parker has hinted that there could be some more new arrivals in the second part of the season that gets underway again on June 29 when his side host Arsenal at Solihull Moors.

“We’ve made lots of changes behind the scenes and we’ve changed the whole infrastructure to everything that we’re doing at the football club.

“With that in mind we are looking to really strengthen and to push on.

“We’ve had an injury list as long as any other team and to be able to use the whole squad, the kids have come on and done fantastic, it’s been a whole group effort and the players and the staff as well.

“We’ve got some great announcements to come up so I’m really excited for the fans. The future is bright and it’s blue and white at the moment.

“Hopefully they’ll be more signings along the way. We’ll see what happens within this window but it’s all about improving for the future.”

The summer break came at perhaps a bad time fort the Blues but it gives Parker a chance access his squad again and he is confident they will come back even stronger later this month.

“Only time will tell but results will tell as to whether this current break is a good thing or a bad thing for us.

“What it does do is give us time for our injuries to subside and to bring players back into the group. We’ve had so many injuries it’s been ridiculous. There’s been more people on the treatment table than out on the football pitch.

“Most of this first half of the season has been very difficult so to give them time to recover, regroup and get back into the game – that will be a good thing for us.

We can have a bit of downtime. We’ve worked out socks of since December, but we’ve improved things and proved people wrong.

Now that is a benchmark and a baseline for us to go on and show everyone Birmingham are back.

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