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Added 14th May 2017, 11:13 in

SSE WOMEN'S CUP FINAL: Managers' Reaction

Following Manchester City Women's 4-1 win over Birmingham City at Wembley, in front of a record crowd, KATIE MISHNER reports on the post-match reactions of the managers...

First up was losing Birmingham City Manager MARC SKINNER, who was disappointed but enjoyed the occasion and hinted at the hunger for more experiences like this one.


Reflecting on the match:

‘I think it was the first half to be honest with you. We had a plan but they were really clinical in the first period and fair play to them, that’s what they’ve built and we knew that from the start. We’re a little bit disappointed that we let them get that far ahead, that we let them put crosses into the box. We had a few words at half time, we showed a bit more of ourself in the second period but the game was already done. Maybe that reflected in Manchester City. It’s a really big moment for a young group and they’ll only learn from this, there’s much more positive times ahead.”



On the fans:

“To be honest, the second half performance from us was for our fans. We said the press will write what they will write, but how do you want to be remembered in this final? I’d like to thank all the fans, they were magnificent throughout, you saw it today. The roars, even as a young coach myself, feeling that kind of spurs you on and I think we’re going to crave moments like that going forward for this young group.”


On the Wembley experience: 

“I said to the girls throughout the week that you live for moments like that. You can hear the roar but you can’t see the people, I was looking for my family but I couldn’t see any of them. It’s an amazing feeling. You’re always overemotional, not only when you’ve lost but when you’re fatigued yourself, your emotions come to the surface. Once they reflect on it, I’m sure they will want to come back and do it again and our group owe it to women’s football to make it a good product to come and watch. Women’s football has its own identity forwards, everyone should want to watch it for its technical excellence rather than just its physical capacity. If we mix the two we can have a real product that we can be proud of and we can fill stadiums like this in England, they do in other countries and we need to do that too.”




And then delighted Manchester City Manager NICK CUSHING, who can rightly reflect on a 'job well done' over the past year or so, with three domestic titles in the bag and a future for the team and the game that is hugely exciting.


On winning:

“Sometimes I think you have to play it down and sometimes you have to be really honest and say we hold the Continental Cup, we hold the WSL title, we were undefeated – so this year our main target was the FA Cup. You know what, we’re ecstatic now because we hold the domestic treble.”


On the schedule:

“I’m ecstatic that we’ve won it, I’m proud of the players. We’ve tried not to make excuses but the schedule has been busy. It’s been a little like planes, trains and automobiles recently. We’ve been from France back to Manchester to Bristol, to reading. To put that performance in after that schedule is exceptional."


On the competitive squad: 

“I think some people think that our team is full of superstars and that we should just win. I get that and I’ve had that from year one. We have a very competitive squad but that is built up of young players and internationals. Abbie McManus, Mel Lawley, Kiera Walsh, Georgia Stanway – these are young players that are training everyday competing with senior internationals. All I ask from the players is that they remain enthusiastic, work hard and try and be better every day. Improving to me is about hard work and I dedicate that trophy to the players that weren’t involved because it’s tough not being involved in finals but we’ve won all our trophies with squads and maybe it doesn’t feel like it on the day but I can assure each individual in our squad, they’ve played their part in our success over the past three seasons.”


On dominance in WSL:

“I said this at the end of the season last year, yes we went undefeated but it wasn’t like we rolled every team over. The WSL is exceptionally competitive and it has been since the first year I was involved in it. That’s why I enjoy this job so much. You’re never going to turn up to a game and roll a team over, you have to be your best and perform well. When you win, that’s because you played well not because the other team weren’t good enough. Marc’s [Skinner] team are an exceptional team and made it really hard for us. We played them in preseason and they beat us 3-1, we played them last week and we drew one all. Today we performed exceptionally well. People ask me a lot about dominating the WSL, I don’t feel it. At 3-1 today, I still thought there was a chance that we would go on and play extra time because of the competitiveness of women’s football in this country.”


On celebrating:

“I will go and spend some time with my family and my three children. I’ve probably been in the house two days in the past four weeks because we’ve been round everywhere. The players will definitely celebrate, they deserve to go and celebrate. They have all three trophies and today the performance was exceptional. The FA Cup was what we wanted so they deserve a celebration.”


(Images: The FA via Getty Images)

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Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?

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