Manager of women's side reflects on cup loss.
Sunderland WFC manager Mick Mulhern said he was delighted with his side’s efforts as the Lady Black Cats were narrowly defeated by Women’s Super League giants Liverpool last weekend.
A controversial late goal from Liverpool’s Katrin Omarsdottir gave the Reds the victory despite an alleged handball from Natasha Dowie in the build-up.
And, though, Mulhern was disappointed with the decision, he couldn’t fault his girls’ effort in the tie at the Academy of Light.
It’s a family environment and everybody plays their part whether they’re on the field or injured or whatever
- Mick Mulhern
“They have top internationals, not just English, but American and Swedish etc. I’m really proud of what the girls have done today and we were unlucky not to take it to extra-time and some would say we could have won it midway through the half when Beth [Mead] hit the post.
“They’ve had chances as well but so have we, we’ve run them close and they’re probably the second or third best team in the country at the moment, from the financial point of view as well.”
Mulhern had to field multiple youngsters due to injuries to key players including Rachel Furness, one of the only full internationals in the Sunderland squad.
However, he felt his side more than matched the stars of Liverpool and he was delighted with the impact the youngsters made.
“I was really pleased with the girls, we had a discussion before the game about how we were going to play.
“They were slightly different in the way they set up so they caused us problems in the first 15 minutes and we were 1-0 down before we got over it and regrouped at half time.
“We got at them and went out there with no fear in the second half; we were well organised and we were the better team.
“That’s why we got the group together because it’s a family environment and everybody plays their part whether they’re on the field or injured or whatever.
“The girls who come in and take the places of the experienced players have grown today.
“Obviously Megan Beer at right-back, it was big game for her against good international players and Abbey [Joice] was fantastic in midfield. She didn’t look as if she was out of her depth - in fact, I thought she was one of the best players on the pitch.”