London City Lionesses interim head coach Nikita Runnacles and defender Hayley Nolan spoke with reporters after their hard-fought win over Birmingham City.
Here is every word they said on an important victory in the Barclays Women’s Championship, a well-earned clean sheet at St. Andrew’s Stadium, and the upcoming international break.
Hayley Nolan, Defender:
Wow, that was a tough one for your fiftieth appearance! What are you thinking right now?
I'm obviously buzzing: it wasn’t as pretty as we would’ve liked, but it was a great team performance. We worked really hard for each other and defended the lead after we scored. I’m actually really happy for the clean sheet because we haven’t had one for a while.
The team came out flying in the second-half, what was the message at half-time?
I think the message at the break was to get under their skin and be passionate. We want to win this league and this most important thing is that we impose ourselves.
Karin Muya certainly did that: what did you make of her goal?
It was unbelievable. Shanade [Hopcroft] pinged the ball long for the half and I don’t know how Karin controls that. But she did, gets the ball in the box, and finishes it. That’s all credit for her – she really deserved that.
After a busy week with London City, what are your thoughts ahead of the international break? You’re off to Spain with the Republic of Ireland.
We’ve had six points from nine this week, so it’s important that we come back and push on. I’m excited to play with the national team. I’m always proud to represent my country and I’m looking forward to being back with them.
Nikita Runnacles, Interim Head Coach:
That felt like a game of two halves – what did you say to get that response after the break?
I told the players at half-time that they were still in it even though it wasn’t pretty and it shows how fired up this group is that they scored so early in the second-half. They find a way to finish the job, no matter how it looks or what it takes.
You must be delighted with the clean sheet, especially with your day-to-day work with the goalkeepers?
We’ve longed for this clean sheet since Christmas and it’s important because it helps to build confidence around the group. We pride ourselves on clean sheets and the girls should be proud that they kept one against a really tough opponent.
It’s now the international break – a final word on today’s match…
Some of the players will now have some rest time, while the others will enjoy some time away with their national team. We knew it was going to be a tough week because going away to Bristol City between two difficult opponents is hard. Like I said: the how doesn’t matter; the outcome does.