Willie Kirk

Kirk: The FA Cup Is Always Special

Willie Kirk expects a tough game for LCFC Women against Birmingham City when the two sides meet in the Adobe Women's FA Cup.
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Leicester continue their FA Cup journey on Saturday afternoon (12pm kick-off) when Birmingham arrive to Pirelli Stadium for a fifth round tie. In the build-up to the game, here are the main talking points from Willie Kirk's press conference at Belvoir Drive...

Dealing without Petermann

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Lena Petermann
Lena Petermann

Lena Petermann is sidelined for the FA Cup clash with a hamstring injury.

The Manager announced that his side will be without German striker Lena Petermann, who has scored five goals in all competitions since arriving in the summer, but is confident his squad has enough ability in forward positions to get the job done.

“The only thing that will change is the personnel," Kirk explained. "We’ve got Remy Siemsen, Aileen Whelan, Jutta Rantala, Deanne Rose and Shannon O’Brien who can all play in the number nine and offer us high quality options.

“Jutta [Rantala] plays in that forward position for Finland, Remy [Siemsen] has half a dozen caps for Australia and then we’ve got talented youngsters such as Ava Baker and Denny Draper who offer competition.

“Denny won’t be involved at the weekend because she’s just coming back from the England Under-17s, but we’ve got enough quality in the squad to deal with absentees."

Importance of silverware

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Deanne Rose
Deanne Rose

Leicester beat Derby County in the previous round.

A win at the weekend would see Leicester earn passage to the quarter-finals, but Kirk believes his side can go even further, and states there is no reason why the Club can't have a shot at the glory of lifting the trophy.

“We’ve never put limitations on the group," the 45-year-old continued. "And we’ve always said we wanted to be top half of the table, which would be a massive achievement considering where we were.

“But the FA Cup is always a little bit special, and you don’t know what happens at this stage. But I’ve been there (in a final) before with a club who has similar resources to this so I don’t think it’s impossible.

“If you get a couple of breaks along the way that can help, but you’ll always have to play big teams on the way and Birmingham is our next challenge. Each round you get that little bit closer, and we’ve got to be looking to get as far as we possibly can."

Birmingham City analysis

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Birmingham City Women

Birmingham City beat Burnley in extra-time to reach the fifth round.

Saturday's opponents are currently fifth in the Barclays Women's Championship, but would be a point off top spot by winning their game in hand, and despite competing in different divisions, the Manager knows the challenge that awaits the Foxes.

Kirk added: “They’re not hugely different to us in terms of style, and the statistics and data in terms of where we place ourselves in the WSL, they’re very similar in terms of strengths and what areas they want to improve on.

“I think their style is very similar. They like an aggressive press and they’re happy to go player for player at times. I think they’re one of the Championship sides that could come up and be well-placed in the Super League.

“You could go through most of their team and see plenty of WSL minutes in there so it will be a tough test and the players know that and have been told that if they don’t do the basics very well, then they will progress instead of us."

Ahead of Saturday's game, download and read the latest issue of the Club's official matchday publication, CITY, on desktop or mobile, while tickets are available to purchase at the Pirelli Stadium Ticket Office from 10:30am on Saturday.

All times GMT.

Leicester City Crest





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