Following defeat to Arsenal last weekend, City return to King Power Stadium on Sunday for the visit of Spurs, who are currently fourth in the league, and boast the WSL top scorer in Martha Thomas.
Below are the main talking points from Kirk’s press conference at Belvoir Drive, where the man in charge previews the clash.
Learning from Arsenal mistakes
City were undone by the Gunners' second half display at King Power Stadium.
“There were a number of individual things that we felt we could’ve done better with,” Kirk told the media. “And this wasn’t necessarily the last kick before the goal was scored, this was higher up the pitch when we could’ve stopped the counter attack.
“What I wanted to focus on just as much, was how good the first-half performance was. Because the feeling among the players was embarrassment to the scoreline, but I was hoping we would still get credit for a good first half.
“I wanted the players to know how good they were in the first half. We could do anything Arsenal could do, however, we made more mistakes because some of our players are younger and less experienced.
“But once we get through these tough moments, I’m sure we’ll have a positive journey. The best thing is we are coming up against a team like Arsenal and we are putting ourselves in these vulnerable positions and are showing our abilities to match them.”
Spurs arrive as the league's fourth-placed team on Sunday.
This weekend’s opponents once again travel from north London, and will be looking to build on their fine form at the start of the season, that has seen them only lose once, to Chelsea, on the opening day.
But the former Everton manager is confident of his side’s abilities to learn from their mistakes and take the game to Spurs, in an attempt to get their third win of the term.
He added: “They’ve been fantastic; getting 11 points from their opening fixtures and I think they’ll be happy with that. Obviously Robert [Vilahamn] is a new manager to the league but he’s started really positively.
“He’s getting the best out of some talented players, he’s maximising what they give. Grace Clinton, who I’ve worked with before; I know how good she can be on her game.
“We know what their threats are, and we feel fairly well clued up on what they do with and without the ball. We’ll be looking to nullify their on-ball moments and looking to exploit them when they’re trying to defend.
“We think we’ve got a robust game plan and flexibility within that game plan to put on a good performance and take three points to get back to winning ways.”
Deanne Rose got her first WSL start for Leicester last weekend.
Canadian winger Deanne Rose joined the Club on a permanent basis from Reading this summer, and made her first Leicester start against Arsenal last Sunday, but City will have to deal without the international forward, who Kirk confirmed has picked up a hamstring injury.
He does believe that she will come back to the team stronger and understands she is a long-term player on Filbert Way, in a squad of impressive quality that can fill the gap left by the pacey player come Sunday afternoon.
“We went with Deanne [Rose] and Hannah [Cain] against Arsenal because we thought we could exploit them with wide players that have blistering pace, and I think we’ve seen that with some of our play in the first half,” Kirk explained.
“The setup for Tottenham might be slightly different so it might not be the same game plan, but despite that, I want all players available. It’s never nice to have anyone injured.
“We’ve got lots of players that can play in that wide position, such as Janice [Cayman] and Missy [Goodwin], who has had a terrific start to the campaign, so while it’s not nice to be without Deanne, we’ve got enough quality to fill the gap.”
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