Birmingham manager Carla Ward admits she does not know how many of her injury-ravaged squad will be available for Wednesday’s derby with Aston Villa but warned their fellow relegation battlers: “We’ll be ready”.
Ward revealed she only had 11 players able to take part in full training on the eve of the Women’s Super League showdown at the SportNation.bet Stadium due to an injury headache that has troubled her all season.
However, Ward insists that whatever side she ends up putting out against Villa it will know what is at stake in a clash that is crucial for both clubs.
“I’m not kidding we’ve got 11 training today, it’s just the story of our season. I honestly couldn’t tell you right now how many are going to be there tomorrow,” she said.
“But what I can tell you is we’ll be ready. No matter who’s fit and who’s not, we’ll be ready.”
Ward’s side are currently 10th in the Super League on 14 points, two ahead of Villa and Bristol City in the bottom two positions.
The Birmingham manager feels a point could be enough to all-but ensure their survival in the division, which could come just days after the men’s team secured their place in the Championship.
“This is one where for me the pressure is on Villa, they need three points and we need a point, although we’ll try and go out and get three,” said Ward, whose side beat Villa 1-0 at Villa Park back in November.
“My first derby of the season was one I’ll never forget. We want to ensure that we do it for both the Club and the fans.”
In the evening’s other WSL match, third-placed Arsenal will be hoping to put three points between themselves and Manchester United in the fight for the final Champions League spot when they host West Ham at Meadow Park.
In what is their game in hand on all their rivals at the top, the Gunners face a West Ham side who are ninth after winning just once in their last five matches.