A lot of the fans reach out to us and that support has been huge for the players.Carla Ward
A final-day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, in which Kit Graham bagged the only goal of a tight game, proved immaterial with Bristol City unable to get the win they needed at Brighton & Hove Albion to have a chance of staying up.
Ward reflected on the campaign post-match, lauding her players and dedicated survival to the supporters unable to watch their team this term.
“Thank you all for sticking with us,” was Ward’s message to all the Bluenoses out there.
“A lot of the fans reach out to us and that support has been huge for the players.
“They went through a rough season last season and what they have done, how they have looked after the players this season, has been massive.
“We are absolutely gutted that they have not been able to witness this with us and everyone knows what I think of fans, they are hugely important and we have missed them so much.
On the team’s accomplished mission, Ward said: “This group of players had secured survival before today.
“I know we had a point deducted but they had done that job, they had done what was asked of them which was to get to the 15-point mark. I am immensely proud of what they achieved.
“This is an unbelievable group, a special group, they look after each other and they were exceptional again today.”
The task against Spurs was made infinitely more tricky by only having limited numbers on the day.
Ward explained: “Mentally it is tough to know you have to go through 90 minutes without changes, particularly when you have a couple of players out there who are around 60 per cent fit right now.
“But again, credit to the players because they didn’t roll over and in the last five minutes we went again and again. That’s what these girls do, they have been so good at that this season.
“I would not swap this dressing room for any other in terms of being so willing to put their bodies on the line and fight for each other like that.”