Hayes: Happy with team response

Around the hour-mark, Hayes made the decision to switch things up by making a triple substitution with Niamh Charles, Ji So-Yun and Sam Kerr, replacing Cuthbert, Sophie Ingle and Reiten and the manager explained her decision behind those changes.

‘I felt we lacked width, I thought the longer the game went on that they were extremely narrow,’ Hayes concluded. ‘I wanted to open the pitch up a little bit to try and stretch them a bit.

‘But full credit to Birmingham, I thought they defended really well with full bodies behind the ball, they made it difficult for us, they stayed in the game and gave themselves a final chance. They have got a top manager so I’m not surprised.

‘Three points matter and I focus on winning and we’ve won again. Getting that momentum shift from a defeat is critical, it’s not an easy place to come, I’ve lost here in my career so to take three points I’m over the moon.’

It’s a big week for the Blues who now turn our focus to defending the Continental League Cup when we take on Arsenal – our opponent from last year’s final – at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday evening. This swiftly follows with a visit from Manchester City in the league on Sunday.


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