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FC United Women manager Luke Podmore believes Reds have momentum for success to continue

FC United Women manager Luke Podmore believes Reds have momentum for success to continue

FC United Women and manager Luke Podmore are experiencing that post-Christmas momentum after putting together four wins in the last four weeks. The consistent run of games has pleased the FCUMW boss having played on just two weekends between December and January.

“It’s great to string games together. It allows you to get a bit of camaraderie going in the group again. It’s been nice following the Christmas break to sort of go full steam ahead. The way we work, it helps if we were to have a game every Sunday from now until the end of the season.”

The latest of those games was last weekend’s well-earned 1-0 league win away at Mossley Hill LFC. Podmore was impressed with his side’s character to hold on to the result and has praised his squad for that.

“Sunday was a show of real togetherness and a display of spirit we have in the group at the moment. We have been immaculate in recent weeks and that really pleases me. The clean sheets and desire to win are the best I’ve seen so far.”

A tough, well-fought win was preceded by a rampant display a week earlier, a 13-0 victory over Accrington Girls & Ladies. With recent results in mind, Podmore believes his players are beginning to really spark ahead of an important stage of the season.

“The team did fantastically well [against Accrington], I think we stepped it up a gear. Clean sheets are massively important for me, it’s the foundations to our football. We are peaking, we’re coming together a little bit more than we have been.”

Skipper Kirsty Chambers was key in that win, scoring a club record eight goals in the game. Podmore expressed delight at his captain’s work ethic and overall role in the team.

“Kirsty [Chambers] is such a reliable person, she’s involved with the core of the team. She’s been the captain for so long now that I think it’s just ingrained in her to do these things and be that sort of person in the group.”

The 13-0 win over Accrington was also a second United debut for Yvette Loukes. The winger re-joined the Reds from Urmston Meadowside last month and the manager insists that Loukes has the quality to play an important role for FC in the coming weeks.

“Yvette [Loukes] is going to have that pace and unpredictability we need, especially when playing teams the second time around.

“With the squad at the moment, I probably want one or two more [players brought in] to see us over the line. Adding that competition will allow us to peak at the right time because everyone will be pushing eachother to their limits”, Podmore added.

Having reached the halfway point in the league season on Sunday, the business end of the season is now very much in the sights of Podmore and his players. The manager believes that the Reds’ can use the success produced from this stage on last season as motivation to a similar kind of outcome, come the summer.

“This is what it comes down to now, we’ve got over half a season to improve. It’s such a key part of the season - everything is on the line. The pressure is on and I think we can deal with that, we’ve shown that we can do it in these moments.”

Podmore added: “We’re going to try and draw on the success of last season, that feeling and what it means. The fact that we have been there will stand us in good stead.”

The second half of the season begins with a league trip to UCLAN Sports Arena to face Sir Tom Finney Ladies, on Sunday (3rd March). Podmore hopes that it will be another game that United can use well in striving towards the goals set prior to the season.

“I believe in the group, in the targets we set at the start of the season and I believe we can achieve those targets. We’ve already achieved one in reaching the First Round proper [of the SSE Women’s FA Cup].

“I feel we’re well on course to achieve what we want to achieve, providing everyone keeps giving the effort that they have given so far, if not a little bit more. It’s going to require a big effort from 16, 17 players and all the staff involved.”

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 18:02 Fri 1 Mar 2019
News ID ~ 8287
Last Updated ~ 16:00 Fri 8 Mar 2019