Read every word of Head Coach Lee Burch’s thoughts ahead of the Bees trip to London City Lionesses this Sunday for our first game of the new decade.
Thoughts on getting started again:
It’s always good to have a break at Christmas and New Year for everyone to get together with their families and reflect on the first half of the season. But everyone is ready to get going with a big London derby to start things off.
Whether the break came at the right time:
Not really, we really wanted to play that Blackburn game, we felt we were in a good place going into that game. It would have been even better if we’d been able to come away and enjoy the break with a victory. I think that’s the only negative from it.
We knew going into Christmas that run of games where we were playing the top teams in our division and the WSL sides in the Conti Cup was going to be tough. The learning curve that we were on was big, we knew that was going to be tough and we had to make sure we got the points on the board prior to that and we did that. The season has gone to form, we are quite comfortable with how the season has gone so far.
On facing London City again:
The first game of the season we were so brand new, I know they were as well, but the professionalism they have in place down there it gave them the edge that day. They were the better side that afternoon.
But then in the Conti Cup, it flipped around and both sides were very strong. We were really good on the day, it took us a couple of set pieces to give us the edge but we’ve gone back and looked at the game, we had some big chances. We were the better side that day for the whole game, I felt that we played really well.
We have to now pick up where we left off in that match, they will be looking to emulate what they did against us in the first game which is be the better side on the afternoon. It’s two teams who won when they were the better side, so it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top overall. They will be the ones happy at the moment because they picked up the league points. We have to get the points if we have any chance of closing the gap to them in fourth.
On facing several away games back to back:
Away games at Palace, Lewes and London City aren’t miles away, obviously, Everton is gonna be a different kettle of fish in terms of quality of opposition and the travel. The other ones aren’t too far away so we are looking forward to getting involved in those big games.
On the FA Cup draw:
In the cup, you always want to play someone a little bit different. I wanted to play a team in a different league, ideally maybe from the league below. But we will go to Everton and they are in great form, they have had a great season already, they have blown last season out of the water. Willie Kirk and the staff and players up there have done really well.
They won’t be too pleased about playing us they will understand the threat that we have, we will have to go there and be at our very best. It’s an intriguing cup draw because it is one we do think we have a chance in. There are some sides like Arsenal who we played recently who are almost on a different planet at times, especially due to the semi-pro/pro divide between teams. Everton will be brilliant but we have a better chance against a side like that, despite the form they are in. We will look to go there enjoy and try to cause an upset which would be brilliant!
On his aims for 2020
I think it’s to try and be the best Bees team there has been whether that’s through a points tally or more so through a positional finish. If we didn’t hit the points tally but did well positionally then that’s brilliant. We need to make sure we stay where we’re at currently and emulate what we have done in the first half of the season which is to beat the teams below us, whilst being better against the teams above us.
It really is about trying to build on what we have started, we’re still in such an early place. I am always looking at reinvesting and relooking at the squad, adding new players, some will move on now and going into the new season. We want to continue building the Bees brand and making sure this is a place where exciting players want to come. If we do that, then we’re going to get better as a side.
So for me, it’s about building that foundation and we continue to be an exciting prospect for players because if we get better players into the group we can continue to push on. As well as the players already here to develop, we have some older players and younger players who are getting better game by game.
That’s our 2020 aim, we really want to make London Bees an exciting prospect for everybody.