League Is Wide Open - Nicholls

18 September 2013 12:16
City Ladies Boss Following Defeat to Cardiff Coventry City Ladies boss Craig Nicholls believes that the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division is wide open, after his side lost to Cardiff City on Sunday.

Kelly Aldridge netted the only goal at the Ricoh Arena to give the Bluebirds the points and consign the Sky Blues to their first defeat of the season.

Having taken four points off Lewes and Brighton and Hove Albion in the opening two games prior to the Cardiff loss, Nicholls has been able to gauge the quality on show in the league, and he firmly believes that there will be no easy fixtures ahead for his side.

“It is very open and everyone is taking points off each other,” admitted the recently-appointed manager. “We need to get back to playing football and stop listening to people backing us for the league as it will be tough.

“We need to take the pressure off ourselves by concentrating on our play and not concentrate on winning the league.”

Gillingham are the surprise leaders at the top of the league, having taken 10 points from 12 so far, and they are followed by fellow unbeaten side Tottenham Hotspur, who host the Sky Blues in their next league fixture in two weeks time.

The Sky Blues could cut the gap dramatically; as they face the current top two in their next two league games, but Nicholls has acknowledged that his team are going through a period of transition in terms of their style of football.

“The performance on Sunday was obviously disappointing. We knew Cardiff were going to be a tough side to break down and we definitely struggled in the final third.

“The style of play we are working on will take time as it’s completely different to what the players have played before, but we will get it right.”

Coventry City face a week away from league action, as they take on Nottingham Forest in Group 4 of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup on Sunday.  The competition brings together all 22 teams that participate in the Northern and Southern Divisions, initially in a group format, followed by knockout rounds later in the competition.

The Sky Blues will be hoping to go one better than last season, when they were thumped 3-0 by eventual winners Aston Villa in the Second Round after comfortably topping their group.

The match will take place on Sunday 22nd September at the Bedworth Oval, and will kick-off at 2pm

Source: Coventry MAD