Tanya Oxtoby: Bristol City Women boss wants response after 'unacceptable' loss

By Tom GarryBBC Sport
Tanya Oxtoby
Tanya Oxtoby's Robins are in the relegation zone due to a far inferior goal difference to Liverpool

Bristol City boss Tanya Oxtoby has called for a response from her players when they travel to relegation rivals Birmingham City on Sunday, after their "unacceptable" 5-0 loss to Everton.

The injury-hit Robins were dismantled by the Toffees at Ashton Gate on Monday in the Women's FA Cup fifth round.

That came five days after a far more resolute display in a narrow 1-0 loss away at league leaders Manchester City.

"Our performances cannot fluctuate like that," Oxtoby told BBC Sport.

"The way we set ourselves up to play, the gameplan was very similar to Manchester City on Wednesday night, but that [Monday] was a completely unacceptable performance and the players know it.

"We know we have got it in us to put in a good performance, that's the frustrating thing. We just need to be switched on.

"I would very much hope [for a response]. The players are disappointed. They need to have a very hard look at themselves. They need to take responsibility."

Bottom of the Women's Super League and occupying the division's only relegation spot, Bristol City are just one point behind 10th-placed Birmingham, who have a game in hand.

The West Midlands club were 2-0 away winners at Stoke Gifford Stadium when the teams met in December's reverse fixture.

Injuries mean Robins are 'making water out of wine'

The Robins have lost their past three WSL fixtures since a 1-0 win at Manchester United on 5 January, but have a growing injury list.

"We're decimated with injuries at the minute. It's got beyond a joke now," Oxtoby added.

"As a coach and a manager I'm frustrated because every single week we're trying to make wine out of water and make players play in positions they're not used to."

Australia midfielder Chloe Logarzo missed Monday's defeat while being carefully nursed back to fitness through the concussion protocol, but could make her debut for Oxtoby's side at Birmingham on Sunday.

Wales' Gemma Evans was withdrawn early on in Monday's defeat with an injury while fellow defender Jas Matthews missed the game with a muscle strain.

The West Country side's longer-term absentees include three players who have suffered anterior cruciate ligament injuries this term - Meaghan Sargeant, Elise Hughes and Abi Harrison.

Former Arsenal midfielder Carla Humphrey also remains out after having surgery on a foot injury in January.

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