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Reaction: Blues 0-0 Manchester City (4-5 on penalties)

If you want to win something you have to fight and scrap for every point whether it be a penalty shootout or a last-minute winner so I think moving on we’ve got to improve and improve quickly.

Marc Skinner

Manager Marc Skinner sent out a rallying call after his team’s draw against Manchester City in this season’s curtain raiser.

However, Blues lost out on an extra point as they failed to beat Nick Cushing’s team on penalties.

He said: “If you want to win something you have to fight and scrap for every point whether it be a penalty shootout or a last-minute winner so I think moving on we’ve got to improve and improve quickly.”

New signings Lucy Staniforth and Chloe Arthur were on show in a game that couldn’t be decided.

There was little to separate the two sides in the 90 minutes, as they shared an evenly matched contest.

Skinner said: “I thought we were pretty poor to be fair. It was really interesting in watching Manchester City’s reaction to winning a penalty shootout.

“They were like they’d won the cup and that shows how far Birmingham have come I think because we’re now seen as a threat to them, which is only a credit to the girls over the past two and a half seasons.

“But for me, if I had to put a percentage on it we were 20% near our performance levels. We just didn’t do the things we’ve done in training this week, the things that would exploit them, we didn’t get up to game speed quick enough.

“You can add reasons to it, the pitch was dry but they’re excuses. The girls have to react to that. Overall, I’ve just said to them in the huddle, your details – if you want to win something we can’t lose that game. 

“And I know we’ve lost it on a penalty shootout but that’s still a penalty shootout, we’ve still lost a point and not gained a point. This week will be hard work because we’re going to go into Villa and put the thing we’ve done wrong right.”

Despite not being impressed by his team’s overall performance he gave credit to how far the team has come over his time at the helm.

At the beginning his team feared this opposition, whereas they are now standing up and competing in the contest and are disappointed with the result. 

He said: “Look at the distance we’ve travelled, when I came in we were like let’s just see what we can get against Man City.

“Now it’s like we’re disappointed when we draw, we’re disappointed. We want to win. That’s a brilliant distance travelled that most fans won’t even understand.

“We’ve raised the expectations of everybody here on one of the worst budgets but we’re raising it because we believe we can go and beat these teams. So, the fans need to come with us and not moan at us because we’re going to keep playing the way we play.

“And we’re going to keep doing that and that will kill teams when we get up to speed.” 

His side face Aston Villa Ladies next weekend at The Automated Technology Group Stadium in the Continental Cup.

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