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'We've made great progress this season'

31 May 2013

City Ladies manager Chris Holloway has praised the depth of his squad after a long campaign...

Coventry City Ladies boss Chris Holloway paid tribute to the depth of his squad as Coventry City ended their FA Women’s Premer League campaign with a 2-2 draw at home to Portsmouth on Sunday.

City were seconds away from snatching fourth position in the table until Lucy Quinn’s late leveller meant they had to settle for an equally credible fifth.

Leeta Rutherford had put the South Coast side ahead only for Nicole Dale and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk to turn the game around with goals either side of half-time.

The Sky Blues boss was reflecting on a rollercoaster of a season that saw the club lose out on a place in the 2014 FA Women’s Super League season, but end the season with their best ever league finish, as well as retaining their Birmingham FA County Cup trophy. 

"I really can't single out individuals, and it may seem like I’m sitting on the fence but every player has played their part," Holloway stated.

"I look back at the Birmingham FA County Cup tie away at Knowle and the players there got a great result in a no-win situation and set us on our way to retaining the cup.

"Then players who have scored important goals throughout the season have always had players who have assisted them too. Sue Wood had made some outstanding displays in goal, and the defenders who have stepped in have done a great job. But in truth, it really has been a big team effort."

City’s excellent run towards the end of the season begged the question of the potential of the team, had their season not been interrupted with a succession of rearranged matches and waterlogged pitches.

After losing all three league matches to Watford, Sunderland and Manchester City from January to March, the club picked themselves up in April and recorded an impressive hat-trick of wins over Charlton Athletic, Barnet and Cardiff City.

They followed that up with their cup final victory over Sporting Club Albion, before taking four points from Aston Villa and Portsmouth to end the season on a high. 

However, the Sky Blues have squandered many points with late defensive lapses this season, and Holloway has been left ruing ‘what could have been’.

"We seem to do better when we get a run of games together but we have also been very unfortunate in games. We pushed all top three sides (Sunderland, Watford and Leeds United) and went down with 98th, 90th and 83rd minute goals to lose. What’s been more of a disappointment was the manner in how we conceded too."

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