By David Brenchley
The Belles will have hoped for a better start to the season but Vicky Exley has been happy with how the mid-season break has gone and hopes the Yorkshire side can push into the top half of the table.
"We thought we did alright," the former England midfielder told WSR. "We started well and then sort of faded towards the end of the [first half of the] season.
"We have worked on what we needed to work on and over the last couple of months, in training and pre-season games, we have looked better than we did in the first half of the season.
"Birmingham are the only team we haven't played yet. We fancy our chances against anybody now; we have signed some new players, we have re-shaped the team and are looking good."
Birmingham may have surprised most with their stellar start to the season but not Exley and she acknowledges it will be a tricky game for her side.
"Looking at the players they have signed, they have a good young squad there; a lot of good players, players in the England team and under 23s so I am not surprised at all.
"Having said that, we are confident we can go out on Saturday and get the win."
Meanwhile, Blues defender Kerys Harrop is looking forward to the challenge of playing a side they have not faced yet this season.
"We haven't played them yet this season, so we don't really know what they're about," the full back, who has found herself on the scoresheet thrice already this season, said.
"We know a few of their players and when we've played them over the years they've been a hard test, so we've got to treat it like any other game and start the second half of the season like we did the first."
As with Casey Stoney and Lincoln yesterday, Harrop also insisted the focus of her England international team mates are fully on the FA WSL season.
Karen Carney, Laura Bassett and Dunia Susi returned from the World Cup in Germany earlier this week but they have already put that disappointment behind them.
"We've only seen them at training yesterday, but their thoughts weren't really on the World Cup, instead focusing on the game and what they're going to do with the Blues," Harrop added.
"They had a great time while they were there, but their back home now, and just focusing on performing for Birmingham."
Birmingham City take on Doncaster Rovers Belles at the DCS Stadium (KO 1500) on Saturday 23 July.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images