West Ham target Birmingham's Carla Ward as new manager

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
Carla Ward
Current Birmingham City manager Carla Ward has won three out of seven WSL matches with her team

Birmingham City boss Carla Ward is West Ham's priority target to take over as manager following Matt Beard's departure.

Ward joined Birmingham in the summer on a two-year deal after leading Sheffield United to their highest finish in the Championship last season.

Beard left West Ham on Thursday having led them to the FA Cup final in 2019.

His departure came on the same day Tottenham sacked head coaches Juan Carlos Amoros and Karen Hills.

Former England assistant coach Rehanne Skinner is now in charge at Spurs.

During her time at Birmingham, Ward has led the team to three wins in seven Women's Super League matches and seen them overcome Brighton in the delayed FA Cup quarter-final.

She was also named October's manager of the month.

When Ward arrived at the Blues in the summer, there were only eight senior players, and they have struggled to get a full squad out at times this season - naming just two substitutes in the 1-0 victory over derby rivals Aston Villa this month.

Birmingham's last fixture was postponed because of a member of the playing staff testing positive for Covid-19.

West Ham are ninth in the WSL having picked up just one win in seven games.

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