Reaction: Blues Women 5 Coventry United 1

Reaction: Blues Women 5 Coventry United 1

Blues Women's Head Coach Carla Ward says she was pleased to be able to rotate her squad against Coventry United ahead of Reading next weekend.

A goal from Emily Murphy and braces for Claudia Walker and Sarah Mayling saw Blues pick up an emphatic 5-1 victory over the FA Women's Championship side in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

Ward made changes to the side that lost to Chelsea last time out, with Sophie Whitehouse and Veatriki Sarri making their debuts.

Explaining her selection, Ward said: “We always highlighted that everyone would get a certain number. We needed to make sure that we utilised people, whilst resting people like Harriet Scott who is carrying a knock.

“It’s vital minutes for everyone. I must discuss Emma Kelly [who filled in at right-back] today because she was very good. Her performance today makes sure that I know that she wants to be in this team.”

On the performance of Greek international Sarri, the Boss added: “She was outstanding. She's been out for a few months, she’s bided her time and it’s difficult to come into a group when you’ve got an injury.

“She plays off limited touches, she wants to open up the pitch and I thought she was exceptional.”

Ward believes the performance in the opening 45 minutes fell below what is expected of the team, but was pleased with how they reacted in the second half.

She said: “Mixed emotions [about the performance]. First-half we weren’t at it, we were sloppy and second to every ball. Second-half I think we reacted well, but by our footballing standards, we know we can be better.

“But we are pleased with the five goals and pleased with the different players that got involved in the goals ahead of Reading next Sunday.”

Striker Walker got her name back on the scoresheet on her 50th appearance for the Club, and Ward was pleased to see her amongst the goals.

She said: “I’m really pleased, I thought there was a moment at the end where she was going to get her hat-trick, but it wasn’t to be.

“Those two goals will do her the world of good and it’s a positive mindset for her going into Reading.”