Kirk says that Leicester City are in good shape after January transfer window
Leicester City manager Willie Kirk is optimistic ahead of Manchester City clash
2 February 2023
Willie Kirk spoke to the media ahead of Leicester City’s Women’s Super League game against Manchester City on Saturday (11:30am kick off), here is what he had to say.
Team news for Saturday’s match against Manchester City?
Ruby Mace is out as on loan and cannot play against her parent club. Kirk said one player took a knock yesterday (Wednesday) but hoping they will be okay (didn’t say who) but no other new injuries, and slowly but surely players will start coming back.
How have squad reacted to Reading defeat on penalties in the FA Cup?
“They were a little bit frustrated post-match as felt it was a game we should have won” Kirk said. He added they were fairly happy with the performance over 120 minutes.
How can you carry on the positivity picked up in January?
Kirk said “we are comfortable that performances are heading in the right direction, we are very happy with some of the things that we are producing on the pitch, making sure it all comes together as often as possible and we get tangible points at the end of the 90 minutes”. Kirk thinks they are in a good place and happy where they are right now as a team going into an important period.
How happy were you with the new signings during the transfer window?
“Really happy to get five in, we have definitely improved the squad which was the objective at the start of the window, we have added real good quality and depth to the squad” Kirk responded. “The five have been fantastic additions in terms of what they contribute to the environment, what they have done on the pitch, all have added different things and really pleased” Kirk added.
What kind of test do you expect against Manchester City on Saturday?
Leicester played Manchester City in the Conti Cup recently and Kirk said “we had a good performance against them” then. City scored late then and Kirk added “they will not take us lightly because we put in a really strong performance, but we have to up our performance as well and I think we are capable of that”.
Kirk also said Leicester are in a stronger position now than for the Conti Cup game (down to bare bones for that with two 17-year olds on bench) and will put up an even better performance and see where it takes us.
“Man City are one of the top teams in Europe never mind the country, these are the challenges we should be desperate to play in and take on and I am sure the players will relish it” finished Kirk.
What lessons can you take from Conti Cup game and way to play against Man City and how to get a result?
“We have got to do better in transition, we had lots of opportunities to create big chances and let a lot of them slip by” responded Kirk. He also added that they probably had more opportunities than they have ever had against one of the teams at the top and need to be more clinical which they have been working on during this week. Kirk also said they need to continue to “play aggressive out of possession” and “be comfortable with space in behind us, and with playing against space rather than against opponents”.
Kirk added later that they have learnt from the Conti Cup game and that narrow defeat and looked at what they could do better and improve on.
How do you see the pressure this weekend, on you or City?
Kirk said he hasn’t thought about it from their perspective, focusing on ourselves and continue to improve performances. Did add he gets that, there must be pressure on them as chasing top three at the moment. “We put enough pressure on us to inspire a good performance but not too much that we debilitate ourselves” Kirk finished.
How frustrating was the Spurs postponement a couple of weeks ago after the momentum created?
“It was frustrating at the time but had a number of players going into that game with knocks and were stretched going into it but will be in a stronger place when the game is played” Kirk said
How much work have you been doing in front of goal in training as scoring more goals?
Kirk responded by saying the goals are coming from out of possession moments and they win the ball back and counter but not the classic one/two pass counter. There have been lots of different types of goals and not one area focused on, tried to improve every part of the team. “It is like night and day in terms of, we were really struggling to get anything especially from open play in the early stages of the season” Kirk concluded.