REACTION: Blues Women 2 Manchester City Women 3
Despite falling to their first defeat of the season, Blues Women boss Marc Skinner labelled this as a learning curve for his players and promised that they will be working hard in training.
A freak own goal from Abbie McManus and a powerful header from Meaghan Sargeant, for her second goal in two games, wasn’t enough as Manchester City fought back in the second half.
Blues couldn’t capitalise on Arsenal not playing, which would have seen them go top of the league with a win or draw. But Skinner noted that it is important to take perspective and move forwards.
He said: “I don’t think we deserved anything today. We didn’t play our style of football, we did in patches but it wasn’t enough and that’s a problem when you play a team like Man City. In the second half they’ve got to come for it because they’re 2-0 down and it’s when you get that one against you, you must make sure that they don’t get another one.
“You’ve got to make sure that you challenge that and change that. We’ve worked a lot in training about how the players can do that. It doesn’t just have to be the management. If a player feels they need to pull somebody in and drag them to the side, they do that so I think that it’s really important to take perspective from this game.
“It’s a good learning curve and it’s something we’ve got to learn from to ensure that we move forwards.”
However, there was positives to take from the game as Blues could have put daylight between themselves and the visitors if they had have converted their first half chances.
Skinner said: “When you go 2-0 up you must ensure that you must stay forwards in the game but I thought we were competitive physically.
“I thought the backline made some good blocks and I thought we created some chances in the first half, but then if you flip it on the negative, you’ve got to take them [chances]. I went mental at half time, not at anyone, but at the girls for not playing. For not doing what we do and I think there were glimmers of it in the second half, but not enough. I suppose that’s a hangover of the way we played at Reading because you had a bit of successful doing it and so that affects everything else.
“There were glimpses of quality today but we need to get this out of our system and prepare for Bristol.”
Blues now go into the international break and will make the most of the time they have before the fixture against Bristol City to make sure they can turn defeat into victory.
“You know in the international break, we make sure that every player gets better. We do a lot of technical work, a lot of work on what players should be doing - we don’t rest. So when the players are away they don’t come back to people who have been sunning it up.
“They’ll have a couple of days off and then we’ll be back in working on it because this will hurt. This will hurt them and they’ll want to get better, I know the character of the group, and if they do that we’ll make sure that we are pushing going forwards.”