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‘Now it’s about our mentality’ – Beard

City Women Manager Matt Beard has hailed the squad’s commitment levels and says the squad must dig deeper than ever with few games remaining in the Barclays FAWSL.

The final five-game run-in starts with a trip to Carla Ward’s Birmingham City this Sunday (March 28th, 4pm KO) as the Robins continue their fight to stay in the division.

Following the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Beard is pleased his side have been picking up points of late and he aims to ensure City continue their improved form.

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“It’s a big game for both clubs,” he said, speaking ahead of the Birmingham fixture.

“Birmingham are a team that have impressed me, Carla has done a fantastic job in getting the points on the board early, so it won’t be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. Getting the last-minute winner at West Ham shows they are a group that never gives up and when you look at our performance against Tottenham it was very similar.

“It will be an interesting game and I think if anyone will win it, it will come down to the decision making in the final third. We’re in a fantastic position now, we’re in and amongst it though other teams have games in hand on us. I’d rather have the points than the games so for us it will be a tense afternoon, but we’ll be prepared for it and give it our best shot.”

Stand-in skipper, Gemma Evans headed City level away at Spurs (Getty Images)

The squad’s commitment to the cause has been impressive, Beard continued, as he outlined his pride in how the team have responded on the pitch in recent weeks and looks ahead to how they can continue their fight to stay in the Barclays FAWSL.

“My commitment to the players was to work as hard as I can for them and the club to stay in the division,” he said. “We’ve all kept or ends of the bargain and now it’s about the mental side of the game.

“Technically we’re good enough, there are goals in this team and now it’s about the mentality to get through the pain barrier and making that extra run, getting the extra yard in and that will be the difference between staying in or going down the division. All I can say about this group is that from day one they’ve been fantastic, I’m so proud of what they’ve achieved and there’s more to come. I do think we can do it.

“Everyone has a part to play and I think the biggest thing is that everyone understands that. I’ll pick teams to win the game, everyone has a part to play and has had a major input to turning the season around and everyone is on the same page.

“We all have the same goal and the biggest thing for me it to have that shared commitment levels from everyone. It’s been a hell of a journey and it will be a fascinating six-eight weeks.”


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