COVENTRY United Ladies manager Jay Bradford believes her side need to work hard to “avoid a relegation battle” in the FA Women’s Championship this season.
The Red and Greens have won just one of their 11 league matches this season – a 1-0 win against Durham in late November.
That means Coventry head into the New Year 11th in the table, outside of the relegation zone on goal difference.
And Bradford hopes to avoid a relegation scrap this season with only the Championship’s bottom club heading down to the National League.
Bradford said: “We need to work really hard to not be in a relegation battle.
“There are games coming up that are winnable games.
“We need to start looking at each individual game and seeing and taking three points from them.
“The players are very focused, we haven’t talked about relegation because it’s not something that we foresee happening.
“We just focus on each game and getting three points.”
United endured a difficult start to their 2021/22 campaign, picking up a single point from their opening seven league matches.
However, their form has improved of late and Bradford hopes her side can build on their recent performance after the Christmas break.
Bradford added: “We made a slow start to the year but we’ve had a relatively strong finish.
“We started scoring goals, we looked more composed in possession and we looked like a team that has a clear identity and way of playing.
“We need to learn how to win when we’re maybe not playing so well.
“And that’s only going to get better heading into next year.”
And their upturn in form has seen them collect five points from their last four games after Rio Hardy scored a late winner to beat Durham for their first league success of the season.
Prior to that, Coventry were held to a 1-1 draw by former Women’s Super League side Bristol City after being pegged back by a late equaliser.
Red and Greens boss Bradford feels those two performances were the high points of a tough year for the club.
She said: “As a staff we have to keep being consistent and keep telling the players what they’re good at.
“We need to keep helping them improve in the areas they need it.
“The Durham game was up there in terms of a good performance and it was a real turning point for us.
“The draw against Bristol City at home was also an impressive performance from us.”
Outside of league action, Coventry have impressed in both cup competitions – narrowly missing out on a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
Bradford’s side produced a memorable comeback against WSL high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur before eventually falling to a late 3-2 defeat at Butts Park Arena.
Coventry have also beaten Championship rivals Watford home and away in the respective cups – the latter of which saw them win 4-0 to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
And United have been drawn away to Billericay Town in the next round with the tie to be played at the end of January.
Coventry take a break from action over the festive period and Bradford has a Christmas message for the Red and Greens faithful.
She said: “Stay safe and make sure you’re doing the right things across the Christmas period.
“Hopefully, we’ll see everyone back at Butts Park in January!”
Coventry return to action against Bristol City on Sunday, January 9 with kick-off at 3pm at the Robins High Performance Centre.