Preview: Blues v Manchester United

Carla Ward is adamant that Blues Women will continue to get stronger with each game played. 

Blues return to the stadium for first time since February on Sunday, taking on a strong Manchester United side (2pm KO).

Despite last week’s defeat, there were plenty of positives to take from the game with Ward and the players coming away from the game proud of their efforts. 

The Red Devils, managed by Casey Stoney, will pose a different threat to Blues on Sunday, but Ward is confident that her side can cause problems. 

She said: “They will pose a lot of threat; they play very expansive football.

“They will look to hurt us, but we’ve got to make sure that we are disciplined in our play and execute the game plan to keep them at bay.

“I said to the girls, when we play all of the top sides, you’re coming up against some of the best players in the world so go and enjoy it.”

Since her arrival, Ward has installed a new lease of life into the players and has focused on building their confidence.

“It’s about the process, we’ve got to keep building on the process and building our identity,” said Ward. “I’ll keep going back to the fact that there is no pressure whatsoever.

“We want the girls to go and enjoy their football, we want the girls to keep building on what we have.

“We have to have a mindset where we back each other and have a tight knit group that are going to run through brick walls for each other.” 

Mollie Green arrived on Monday, signing from Sunday’s opponents, a player that Ward knows well from her time at Sheffield United. 

She said: “I must be honest, the Mollie that I am seeing now is much different to the Mollie I had last year.

“I’m seeing a hungry Mollie, one that is ready to go and prove her critics wrong and you can see that hunger in her eyes. 

“She’s been superb in training and she will be a massive addition for us.

This fixture will be the first game Blues have played at home without fans, but their support remains crucial for the side.

“I said when I came in, the fans need to be patient,” stated Ward. “For me, the fans can play such a massive part this year whether they are in the ground or not.

“The players feel the fans and it is important that the fans stick with them.

“Hopefully, soon enough, we will have the fans back with us and that will help the girls even more.”