'You have to beat the best,' insists Blues defender

Saturday 12 Sep 2015
Birmingham City defender Kerys Harrop
Rather than shy away from the task of taking on Chelsea, Birmingham defender Kerys Harrop acknowledges you have to beat the best to be the best.

The WSL 1 rivals go head-to-head in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup quarter-final on Sunday, bidding to continue their journey toward the final at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium.

With the SSE Women’s FA Cup already in the bag, WSL 1 leaders Chelsea hope they can end the season with all three domestic trophies.

Birmingham v Chelsea

The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup
Solihull Moors
2pm, Sunday 13 September

Birmingham have finally found some form of their own though, losing just one of their last eight games in all competitions.

And Harrop hopes her team’s season can still end with some silverware by putting an end to Chelsea’s pursuit of the treble.

“If we want to reach the final and win the cup we have to play and beat the best teams. It would have been better to get them in the final but it will be a good game,” said Harrop, whose team were runners-up in this competition in 2012 and also won the FA Cup that year.

“It was a good experience being in cup finals but as a team we have to treat every game as if it is a cup final.

“We have new players in this season who have not played in the finals and the older players can help them.

“We all share our experiences with the others girls to help each other along in the game.”

Chelsea have been virtually unstoppable throughout the campaign, with goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl starring in her debut season.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kerys Harrop

Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl

The Sweden No1 has been rotated with Marie Hourihan in the Continental Tyres Cup, but has faith in her team to progress regardless of the XI manager Emma Hayes selects.

“It’s a great draw, I have a good feeling for us,” she said. 

“Birmingham have performed better and better as the season has gone on, but we did manage to beat them 4-0 last time we played – even though we had Gemma Davison sent off.

“We are a really good side and we’re certainly in it to win it. We have strength all through the squad, so no matter who plays we are confident.

“Marie Hourihan has been playing in goal in the cup and done very well, keeping clean sheets in the last three games in the competition. It’s great that we have competition in every position.”