Aston Villa play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and, according to Head Coach Carla Ward, “We will go there to win the game. The message has been that all week. We’re going for the win.”
Neither side has scored many goals in recent matches, with Spurs not scoring in their last two. Aston Villa have only scored once in their last four.
Talking of Spurs, Ward said, “They’re not conceding many but they’re not scoring many. A bit like us. We’ll just continue to try to break them down and find the back of the net. That’s all we need to do.”
Aston Villa team news
Anna Patten is out through illness and will not feature. There are doubts regarding Jill Scott, Ramona Petzelberger, and Meaghan Sargeant. However, there is better news with Alisha Lehmann and Ruesha Littlejohn, as both have been training and are in contention.
Ward is fully aware that it’s the final third of the pitch where Villa have been struggling. In fact, since Christmas, Villa have dominated all but two games—Chelsea and Man City—but not had the goals to show for it.
“We’ve been brilliant,” said Ward. “It’s just that little ingredient in the final third. Our forwards have been sensational this week. They have been hungry, they have been sharp and I pulled a couple of them yesterday and reminded them of that.
“The response I got was that they are ready and feeling it because they have been flying this week. We want to see that replicated in games and I have no doubt that once one or two go in, there might be three or four.”
Players giving their all
Aston Villa are second in the WSL in terms of successful tackles per match. With an average of 12.0 successful tackles per match, only Tottenham have a higher statistic.
Ward commented that her players are “willing to put their bodies on the line.” She added, “You give me everything and I’ll give you everything.”
Ward was asked about her newest signing Rachel Corsie. Ward explains she was brought in as a centre-half and, even though she can play further up the field, Ward believes she is most valuable in defence.
“Corsie and Anita Asante were outstanding together last weekend.”
Laura Blindkilde Brown played the full 90 minutes against Reading and provided the assist for Ramona Petzelberger’s goal.
“She came in last week and she was great. It doesn’t matter how old you are. What you’ve done in the game—who you are—if you play well and you’re going to make us better, then that eleven will play.
“She was exceptional last weekend. The way she picks up the ball and progresses the team up the pitch is something which is a real skill. She’s got an unbelievably bright future ahead of her.”
Last time out
Against Reading, Villa had so many more attempts on goal than the Royals did. Hannah Hampton virtually had very little to do but she could not stop Reading’s goal, courtesy of a penalty.
When Villa played Spurs last time, Ward remarked, “We were disappointed that big decisions didn’t go our way. We have to be ready to go again. But I have to be honest. That game hurt us because I felt we did enough as we have in a lot of games.
“There’s probably still some hurt from that but Tottenham have had a fantastic season. They are a well-organised side and I’ve admired the work that’s been done there. We know it will be a tough afternoon, we really do.”
Building for the future
In terms of the remainder of this season, Ward explains, “We want to get as many points on the board whilst continuing to implement the way we want to build this football club.
“We’re starting to put things in place for us to kick on next season. It’s a journey. It’s a process. We have one eye on next season already. We already know what we want to do.”
Villa’s match away to Tottenham Hotspur takes place on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. BST. The match can be viewed on The FA Player.