Holloway relishing new role

Rebecca Holloway is striking the right balance after shifting to a third position in as many seasons.

Blues’ versatile midfielder arrived from Nashville Rhythm during the summer of 2019 having played much of her football in midfield while in America.

Holloway’s stature was utilised last season with a step back to centre-half but new Head Coach Carla Ward has played the Northern Ireland international at left-back, affording her player the best of both worlds.

“I played midfield in America so last season was quite a big transition,” said Holloway.

“I felt like I was fighting a lot of my natural instincts at centre-half and I think that was why I struggled a bit, I wanted to push forward but knew I had to stay back and defend.

“Being at left-back gives me the chance to get forward as well as defend, it is a healthy balance and that’s why I feel like I am getting a lot better this season.

“The position suits me pretty well and I am playing with a smile on my face.”

Building a new team as the standard in the Barclays FA Women's Super League rises at pace has provided challenges for Ward, but Holloway is adamant confidence is high ahead of tomorrow’s FA Women’s Continental Tyres Cup opener at Blackburn Rovers (Wednesday 7 October, 7.45 kick-off).

On the impact of the new boss, Holloway added: “She believes in us as players. The focus is on us feeling confident and happy in playing and we want to go out, do the job and put on good performances.

“Her first thought is that she wants us to be happy more than anything. We were not always happy or confident last season, she wanted to change that and has done a really good job of making a difference for us.

“We were all really happy to put in a strong performance against Chelsea at the weekend. You never want to lose but after losing that game 6-0 last season, for it to only be one this time shows how far we have come.

“People think we are the underdogs because we didn’t make huge signings in the summer like the bigger teams so we know we have to put on big performances to show we can compete and get results.

“That was proven against Chelsea and it is because we are feeling so good as a team that we feel able to put on good performances against the big sides.”

The Conti Cup kicks off tomorrow

Carla Ward's side travel to Bamber Bridge to take on Blackburn Rovers as the first round of the Conti Cup group stage gets underway.

Follow @BCFCWomen on Twitter for live social commentary from tomorrow night's Cup tie. 

Match highlights and a full match replay will be available from 1pm on Thursday on the FA Player.