30 September 2020

Birmingham City’s Carla Ward slams three-day turnaround from FA Cup quarter-final to semis

Birmingham City manager Carla Ward has said the quick turnaround from the Women’s FA Cup quarter-finals to the semis is an ‘injustice to the competition’.

Ward’s club beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-3 on penalties on Sunday and will play Everton today with a place in the final at stake.

She said: "Honestly, I cannot get my head around how anyone thinks it would be the right decision to play a quarter-final of the FA Cup, probably the most prestigious competition in football, and then play three days later in the semi-finals.

"It's an injustice to the competition, because actually these players have gone out and given 120 minutes and we've had to pull them in yesterday on their day off to get in the pool and try and give us every chance."

If City beat Everton this evening they will head to Wembley on November 1 for the final where they would face either Manchester City or Arsenal.

Ward added it would be a ‘dream come true’ to make it to the home of English football.

She said: "Honestly, it would be unbelievable. When I spoke to the girls, I nearly got emotional even thinking about it, because these girls have had a tough ride, particularly over the summer.

"Make no bones about it, they didn't even know if they'd have a football club to play with this season so, for them, it would be a dream come true because they deserve it, they've stuck by the club.

"I don't think there are many people who think we can win the game, so we're going to enjoy it, the pressure's off, and that's what I'm going to be saying to the girls: Go and enjoy yourselves and give it all you've got."

City v Everton will kick off this evening at 7.15pm and it will be available to watch on BBC Four. You can also keep up with the action live, here on NewsChain.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox