REACTION: BOSS PROUD DESPITE DEFEAT
Manager Marc Skinner reflected on Birmingham City Ladies’ efforts in the Spring Series with a sense of pride after the curtain came down on the summer campaign with a 2-0 defeat to champions Chelsea.
Marc Skinner on the match:
“We tried to frustrate Chelsea in the first half because they have an abundance of attacking quality that they pay for and they won the league because they have the best team.
“We gave away two sloppy goals but, by the end, I felt Chelsea were in a position where they had to defend. We didn’t create enough but looking ahead to next season, I can see so much fruition from what we have done.
“We lost to the champions and a team that has a budget that dwarves ours by a ridiculous amount. To react to a boring 0-0 against Yeovil with that level of commitment was brilliant, they were running hard until the 95th minute.
“The players all know where this project is going and are on board, committed to pushing up the league next season.”
Marc Skinner on goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger’s performance against Chelsea:
“She has been fantastic all season. We had a chat at the end and she knew she had not set her usual standard but she has in every other game.
“I can wipe that slate clean because she does not do that normally. If any person makes a mistake, including me, we work together to make it better next time.
“Ann-Katrin has been absolutely magnificent this year and she will the best goalkeeper in Europe, I have no doubt about that.”
Marc Skinner on Birmingham’s Spring Series campaign:
“My overriding feeling is pride in this young team and that only good things will happen. In a week’s time, when I have sat down and really thought about it, I will reflect on how proud I am of every individual.
“I am asking the girls to change a philosophy, a culture, and that does not come easily overnight. It can be four, five or six years in the making.
“Even though we had the FA Cup final defeat in there, which was tough, I feel proud of how the girls got us there.
“We took on some of the top teams in the country to get to Wembley and now we have to work on ways to beat them regularly and join that top table.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the club for their support and, hopefully, we can grow now. If we can be really resourceful with the right kind of investment, I hope we can challenge.
“Some people might call me stupid but I am ambitious. That fire gets reignited when you face a team that has won things when they are well into their project. We are six months into ours and we can compete. I want to add a little bit more to see where we can go next season.”
Marc Skinner on his injured players:
“We hoped Ellen White would have been able to play a part (against Chelsea) but it was just a case of allowing the swelling to come down properly. There is no medical problem, we just need to make sure she is okay for the Euros and she should be fine in a week or so.
“Emma Follis will be back next season to give us something different and Bella Linden is back training again so, hopefully, we will have a fully fit squad in time for when the action kicks off again.”