Bees boss Lee Burch is urging his side to put their difficult start to the season behind them and build momentum as they enter a busy period of fixtures, starting with this Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United.
The Bees are looking to bounce back from defeat to title favourites Liverpool last time out and the boss was quick to highlight how they’ve used the international break to their advantage.
He said: “We’ve digested the beginning of the season, it’s a couple of games against two different oppositions. We played two different games and played in different ways. I know we didn’t get the results but we are confident that we are a better side for those two games.
“We’re looking to use those games to help us to start to perform. I’m sure the girls would have liked to have got out there and go again, but the break has allowed us to reflect and not to panic. We have had time to put things right on the training ground and Wednesday’s session is one of the best we have had. The games are going to come thick and fast so the break ahead of this run is probably not a bad thing.”
The clash with the Blades Sunday is yet another difficult encounter with a side tipped to be in the promotion race following their second-place finish last season.
Our last trip to take on this weekend’s hosts finished in a 3-1 defeat, but the game was on a knife-edge until former Bee Katie Wilkinson wrapped up the points for United. Burch believes his side will have to be at their best to get a result but feels they have more than enough ability to take home the points.
“They are a good side, they have got a good manager in Neil Redfearn, they have a lot of good players. They will be just as good as last season, if not better and I think we are going to have be at our best if we are going to get anything.
“We ran them close last season, we had a spell for 15-20 minutes of the second half where we had them on the ropes. We then got our goal to make it 2-1, we were really playing some good stuff and got a goal that the play deserved. But unfortunately, they scored again straight away. They do take their chances and we have to learn from that this time around.”
“We’ve got an identity at the Club that we are trying to develop and it is going to take time to try to do that. We have changed the culture and we are in a good place after last year, we have added some really good players to that who will add to the group in a positive way.”
A real negative for both the Club and football as a whole has been the government announcement that fans will not be returning to stadia on October 1st, meaning it’s looking like behind closed doors for our matches for at least the immediate future.
Burch feels that the government announcement comes as a huge blow to both matters on and off the pitch for the Bees. However, he’s hopeful of a positive future when our fans can eventually return to The Hive London.
“It’s a big shame, not just for the women’s game but football in general, it is really tough time for the game. It’s a real blow to us, I find it tough when we have got a 6000 seater stadium, we know that we could safely host the 500-600 fans with ease.
“We hope that we can get back to playing in front of crowds, not just but football in general, sadly it’s going to take time.”
The game on Sunday starts a busy period for Burch’s side with games coming both on the weekends and in the week as our Conti Cup campaign begins a week Wednesday (7th Oct).
The buzz word at the moment as we enter this busy period is ‘momentum’ and Burch is adamant that his side have to embrace the games that are coming and try to get some important points on the board.
“We’re looking forward to the Conti Cup, it’s going to be an interesting competition this year. The games are going to come thick and fast.
“We have to try and mirror what we did last year, which is why we aren’t panicking at this stage. Plenty of teams are going to lose to Liverpool this year, we’re really looking forward to playing lots of football and continuing to gel. We need to try to keep everyone fit as that is going to be important.”