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‘We’ve got to recover and focus on the games ahead’ – Beard

City Women was left frustrated by his team’s slow start against Cheslea in the FA Continental Tyres Cup Final, which saw the Robins fall to a heavy 6-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.

Two goals apiece from Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby put the Blues in the driving seat as the reigning champions capitalised on individual errors to punish the Robins.

City Women’s spirited second-half performance was an improvement as they threatened Katrin-Ann Berger’s goal on a couple of occasions, but a third from Kerr and a sixth from Guro Reiten completed Chelsea’s rout.

“We tried to make the girls as comfortable as we could, but when you come to a stage like this and see the dressing room sometimes it can overawe you a little bit.

“The start wasn’t ideal and that has had a massive effect on the first-half performance. I said to them at half-time that it was the first time I have felt a little bit disappointed in the sense of we didn’t do what we set up to do.

“It’s difficult when you face an opponent like Chelsea with the form they’re in. We can draw from this experience and we have used this cup run to aid our league form.

“I asked the girls yesterday ‘Who has been in a Cup final?’ and one player put their hand up. Chelsea do this year in, year out.

“From my perspective it was a frustrating first half, but the second half we began to do things a bit better. We played against a world-class opponent and now our focus can be on staying in the division.

“I said at half-time ‘I want us to be brave’. We showed them a few clips of where the space was and what we had worked on in training over the last few days and I asked them to trust what we set out to do, we did that better in the second half.

“Their keeper has also made a couple of good saves; it would have been nice to get a goal but the first half has killed the game.

“We need to recover and focus on Wednesday. We’ve got seven Cup finals left.”

Attentions quickly turn the Barclays FAWSL run-in which sees City Women in action twice this week. First, they take on Manchester City at Twerton Park on Wednesday (March 17th, 7.30pm KO) before returning to the capital to take on Tottenham Hotspur at The Hive on Sunday (March 21st, 2pm KO).


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