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Team has immense character - Dave
 Women's Football News 28 May 2012
 
Team has immense character - Dave - 28 May 2012 - Women's Football NewsDave Parker paid tribute to his team's character after they won the F.A.Women's Cup on penalties against Chelsea. 
 
The Birmingham City manager admitted following the game: "I've aged just a little bit. But someone was looking down on us today.
 
"In injury time there were a lot of bodies in the box, the ball was bumbling about a lot and it's just fallen for us. But we've a lot of players who have natural instincts for goal and it happened that way.
 
"This team - everybody from the players to the backroom staff - has immense character and just a great team spirit and that is what has driven us.
 
"With the journey this club has been on, the number of trials and tribulations we've had has been unbelievable. There are so many personal stories and a number of people, past and present, who have been involved and given up their time to help this football club. We just happen to have been the ones who are a part of the story of the club and now we are aiming for bigger and better things.
 
The main talking point of the game was Birmingham's extra time equaliser and Karen Carney, who scored the free kick, gave a detailed explanation of what had happened. "I got pushed but whether it was a foul or not is down to the referee," she said. "I've got cut knees for no apparent reason so I think I got pushed in the back - thankfully the referee gave it but on another day she might not have.
 
"Jo Potter said to me, 'Kaz, do a quick one,' and we were aware that Carly [Telford] likes to line the wall up and when a goalkeeper is doing that it leaves things wide open and thank God, it went in.
 
"Jo asked the referee if we could take it quickly and she said yes. Chelsea will have some issues but we asked the referee and she acknowleged it - it went in and as Dave said, God was looking down on us today for sure.
 
"Chelsea gave us such a good run for our money. They pushed us all the way and were top drawer - whoever won it would have deserved it, but thank God we did."
 
Karen was the player who scored what turned out to be the winning penalty and then revealed the lengths they had gone to in training. "I was confident," she said, "we have practiced [penalties] for the last three or four days. "We have had people behind the goal putting us off, someone dressed up as a dragon and other people in fancy dress, people blowing horns.
 
"The coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for that as they put in so much effort and time. Because of that, every single player that stepped up to take a penalty was confident.
 
"Last season we weren't as mentally strong as we are now. It's about the team and the staff, we're a family and I think we thoroughly deserved it.
 
"We didn't plan for celebrations because that would have been disrespectful to Chelsea and slightly arrogant, and that's not us. We've come here and worked hard, we had a strategy and thankfully we've done that and now we can start our celebrations for sure.
 
"This stadium was absolutely unbelievable and we've got to thank Bristol - we had a great environment and the fans were fantastic. I'm quite happy it was here and I'll have fond memories of Ashton Gate.
 
"The hardest thing is getting the first trophy. Once you've got that and that mentality, that's when you can push on. That is why Arsenal have been so successful, they win trophy after trophy and that is because they are winners. Now we have our first one, hopefully we can push on."

 
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