Manchester Futsal Women’s Club head coach Abdallah Mohamed has called on his side to end the 2015/16 FA Super League season on a positive note.
The ladies take on Birmingham on Saturday knowing that they are unable to win the league following their 10-5 defeat to Bristol City last month.
They’ve reached double figures in points, however, after being awarded the win against Gloucester University two weeks ago when their opponents could not field a side to play.
Now Mohamed is eyeing three well-earned points to round off a season he refers to as a ‘learning curve.’
“Our players are fresh and raring to go; they are all motivated to finish on a high,” he said.
“It was unfortunate that the Gloucester game was cancelled, but it’s something we need to look at and try and avoid these sorts of problems next season.”
On the Bristol defeat, Mohamed continued: “It was a bad day at the office.
“We played at a very low tempo, which suited them more and they were able to capitalise on the mistakes that we made.
“Our build-up play was good, but once we got into the final third we made a lot of bad decisions and Bristol were able to take advantage.
“It was the worst game I've seen the girls play. I know their abilities and I know they can perform far better than that; it’s something they can learn from and hopefully we will see an improvement against Birmingham.”
Manchester were hit by the late-drop out of Ana Marques due to injury. With no substitute ‘keeper, outfield player Ilona Miterkova was happy to take on the challenge despite the short notice, and Mohamed was delighted with her attitude.
“Ilona stepped up against Bristol and it just shows her commitment to the team,” he said.
“She made some really good saves and I think she did brilliantly considering it was the first time she had played there.”
Mohamed was also full of praise for Lauren Beckford after she scored a scintillating hat-trick against Bristol, and believes her performances over the season have been vital for Manchester.
“Lauren has been outstanding throughout and she is a key player on the court,” he said.
“She has all the attributes that a manager wants to see in a player and she’s also supportive to all the players, which shows her leadership.
“For me this has been her best season; she’s had to develop into the the role she's playing now due to injuries elsewhere, and she’s done that exceptionally well.”
Missing out on a chance to win the title wasn’t the ending that Mohamed had hoped for, but he is determined for his side to learn from this season and come back stronger next time around.
“It is gutting and I think all the girls are feeling frustrated,” he admitted.
“They have been amazing up until the last few games, where they’ve lost a bit of confidence and everyone's heads have been down a little bit.
“But it's a learning curve and the players now needs to show a lot of character to bounce back.
“We've been struggling a lot recently as we haven’t been able to get our whole squad together due to injuries and unavailability, which I think has played a part.
“Now it’s just about reflecting on the whole season in general, looking at what we need to work on and improve as team and finding ways to progress in our development.
“We also need to recruit a few more players to make us even stronger next year.
“With only Saturday’s game left, it's a case of finishing off on a high and rebuilding for next season.”
SQUAD: Carol Agostinho (c), Bruna Fontes (GK), Meida Pociunaite, Celeste Gardner, Aggy Janczuk, Ilona Miterkova
Manchester Futsal Women’s Club take on Birmingham Futsal Club at Birmingham International Futsal Arena on Saturday 14th May, kicking off at 11.25am. Keep up-to-date with the womens’ progress via our Twitter account, @MFCWomensFutsal.