26th Oct, 2016

David Parker relishing cup final showdown against league champions Manchester City

Steve Carpenter 30th Sep, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BIRMINGHAM City Ladies will take the ‘underdog’ tag to a whole new level this Sunday when they travel to Manchester City to take on the Women’s Super League Champions in the FA Continental Tyres Cup final, and manager David Parker is relishing the challenge ahead.

Many people have tipped Manchester City to complete the double this Sunday after winning the title with two games spare on Sunday.

City have dominated the in the league this season with England skipper Steph Houghton leading from the back, and they will be boosted by a large home support too with the FA selecting the final to be played at the City Football Academy in Manchester.

“Everyone expects us to lose,” said Parker. “It’s a full away game. It’s going to be Manchester City branding all over.

“The FA have given them a home tie. We’re in our red away kit, they’ll be branding Manchester City flags everywhere.

“Manchester City will pack the stadium out with their supporters with ours stuck in a corner somewhere – whatever they want to do I don’t care.

“All the odds are against us. Everyone up and down the country expects Manchester City to win but we’ve got nothing to lose. You know what, I like it that way.

“We’ve always been underdogs but this sunday takes that underdog level tag to a whole new level and I can’t wait.

“We’ve got nothing to lose and we can just go out there and give it everything we’ve got.

“Manchester City might be thinking that all the things are with us, but they know they’re in for one hell of a game on Sunday, they know it.”

The Blues head into Sunday’s game high in confidence after ending their home campaign at Damson Parkway with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Liverpool.

Corina Schroder fired the hosts ahead on her debut against her former club before Katie Zelem scored from the spot after Rosie White had been brought down inside the area by Chloe Peplow.

But defender Kerys Harrop popped up with a rare goal to earn Parker’s side their fourth home win of the season which pushes the Blues up to fourth with two games remaining.

“It was a thoroughly deserved win for us,” Parker continued. “We controlled for long periods and dominated in the opposition half as well.

“They’ve scored from the penalty but really I think that’s the only real sniff they’ve had so I’m really, really delighted with the girls.

“We’ve played exactly how we wanted to with the patterns, the movement and off the ball, it was a delight to watch at times and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the girls went about the game.

“We’ve been missing big players but the young players have come in and stepped up which gives us headaches going into Sunday’s cup final.

Parker also paid tribute to German defender Schroder who has had to wait since March for her Blues debut because of injuries.

“For Schroder to score a goal on her debut, well that’s football. It’s absolutely wonderful.

“Coming back she’s making her debut after eight months out coming up against her old club and she scores. The amount that she has had to go through to get to this point and you could see what it meant to all of the players and against Liverpool as well.

“Bella Linden was even booked for joining in on the celebration because it’s meant that much to everybody, not just Koko but to everyone.

“We’ve been building her up for this game as a target, we’ve kept it quiet and she’s come through it superbly.”