The great escape is most definitely on after Watford Women beat Birmingham yesterday to climb off the bottom of the Championship table, and head coach Damon Lathrope’s belief in his squad is higher than ever.

Six points, four goals and two clean sheets from what looked, on paper, two very difficult games away at Durham and then home to the Blues is an outstanding return and means the Hornets now have their destiny in their own hands.

They sit in the relegation zone only because their goal difference is one worse than London City, and they still have to play both Lewes and Reading, who are in and around them in the table.

“In terms of results, we do feel we’ve turned a corner, and this is a result business,” said the Watford boss.

“It was all well and good us saying we were performing well and competing well without getting what we warranted, but now we’re getting it in results.

“That in turns breeds confidence, and so we’re really pleased with where the group are now.”

Against Birmingham yesterday, Watford were clearly up for the challenge from the first whistle, snapping into tackles, shutting the visitors down and happy to mix it physically.

“It’s something that we’ve been working really hard on for the last two or three weeks in training,” said Lathrope.

“We’ve focussed on what we do out of possession, and I think it’s credit to the players that you can see that it’s really helping them.

“We look assured, we’re showing we are more than capable of competing in this league, and maybe the part we were missing from the first half of the season was those fundamentals of competing, running hard, winning duels.

“It was the same last weekend. We went away to arguably the most physical team in the league at Durham and did the same.

“Sometimes it takes a performance or a game to make the players really believe that they can physically match teams.

“We can tell them but until they actually see it for themselves, it’s sometimes hard.

“They saw it last week, and I know that the performance and result last week gave them so much belief. It was like the moment where they knew they can compete with, and beat, these teams.”

Although Birmingham carved out very few clear openings, they certainly put the Watford defence under pressure, especially in the opening period of the second half.

“The amount of crosses, set pieces, moments where we had to do some emergency defending, in the first 20 minutes of the second half – our back unit was outstanding,” said Lathrope.

“They gave us the chance to go on and win the game.

“The credit for that has to go to the players because it’s an area we identified as needing to work on, and they did it.

“They showed a lot of courage. Naturally the plaudits go to the goalscorers but I think the defensive unit deserve an awful lot of credit.”

Lathrope made a big call last week, switching central defender Harley Bennett to right wing-back, moving to three at the back and playing midfielder Sophie McLean on the right of the three.

He went with the same again yesterday, and once more it paid dividends.

“We spoke to both players because they had to be comfortable with it, and open minded to us doing it,” he explained.

“So it was a collective decision that we wanted to give it a go because we felt the attributes they would bring in those areas were what we needed, even though they hadn’t done it before.

“I said to the players, it’s either going to make me look really stupid, or make it look like I’ve got half a clue of what I’m doing.

“They have both done really, really well in those positions and in turn it has helped the team.”

Of course, at the other end of the pitch, Michelle Agyemang came off the bench to score the two goals that ultimately sealed the victory, giving her six in the last six games.

“There is no disguising that she is a super talent and she has everything you need to go on and have a really top career,” Lathrope said.

“But the best bit about Michelle is the way she is as a person. She is so humble and good with everyone else, and that’s why everyone loves her.

“The fact she can change games is a bonus. We like her most of all because of who she is, and we like to think that’s what we do at Watford, get good people in the building. We go for person over player.”

The two goals she scored were almost identical – rob a defender, outstrip them for pace, and then beat the keeper with an accurate, powerful strike.

“We were discussing after the game that she has unbelievable power and pace, and normally when you have a player with that they might lack a bit of finesse,” said the head coach.

“Or you have a player with finesse that can finish, but they lack that yard of pace or power.

“But Michelle has got the lot. She got away twice, she got two chances and she took them.”