Carla Ward: I am really happy with our progress

I’m delighted with where we are at.

Carla Ward

Head Coach Carla Ward believes her team are ready for the challenge of Manchester United in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday.

When the two sides met in the reverse fixture, today’s hosts ran out victors in a thrilling encounter that ended 5-2.

The Red Devils have been challenging at the top of the table since that match and suffered their first league defeat of the season last weekend against Chelsea, but Ward recognised the strength that they have to bounce back.

“Manchester United have really high standards and have a lot of quality," explained Ward. "They have gone toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Europe right now. They will have moved on from Sunday. When you play Manchester United, you are in for a tough afternoon.”

Blues have been working on limited numbers throughout the season due to injuries, however, Ward pointed out that her team are always ready to fight.

She said: “We might have 15 for the weekend. This group keeps working hard and we are always ready no matter how many we have got. They will be ready.”

The recent acquisitions of Ruesha Littlejohn and Emily Murphy have clearly helped the side and Ward added: “Ruesha comes with a real pedigree. She has come in and been a natural leader straight away which is what we need because we’ve got a young group.

“Emily is powerful, exciting and full of confidence. She fascinates me with her maturity on and off the pitch. I’m really excited for both of them, they’ve brought a lot to the group.”

Ward’s side have one of the best defensive records in the league and have almost doubled the amount of league goals scored by the team last season, a feat that has pleased the boss.

She said: “I am really happy with our progress; I’m delighted that our forwards are finding the net. Defensively, we have the best defensive record outside of the top four which we are really proud of.

“I’m delighted with where we are at. We are scoring goals and we are good defensively so I’m not worried.”