Carla Ward: ‘Unpredictable’ Aston Villa looking to exploit Tottenham weaknesses

Carla Ward looks on prior to the Barclays Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa
Carla Ward looks on prior to the Barclays Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa on December 09, 2023 (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

With nine games left of the Women’s Super League season, Aston Villa manager Carla Ward spoke ahead of their away visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

In terms of team news, Rachel Daly is still out with her suspension. Ward mentioned how it was a ‘huge miss’ for them. She followed up that by saying other forwards have stepped up in her absence in training.

She also commented that the England international has been trialling different positions during training in this period. Ward spoke about how the striker has been playing as a full-back and even a centre-back in these times.

Aston Villa absences

Kenza Dali is a doubt for Villa after picking up a knock to the ribs against Brighton. Ebony Salmon is also a doubt after sickness this week.

The positive news was that Dan Carter will be back in the squad after an absence with injury. Ward commented that her return brings her quality and experience back to the defence. She also said that Carter was one of the side’s best players last season but did not see the praise she deserved.

When asked about the three-match suspension of Daly through violent misconduct, Ward called for more consistency in these types of offences. She commented that the team and Daly had accepted the decision. However, decisions in bigger games have seen incidents go unpunished and things need to be consistent and fair across the league.

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Looking ahead to Spurs

Commenting on their opponents on Sunday, Ward spoke about how well Robet Vilahamn has done since he joined Spurs last summer. She said he’s done a ‘good job,’ since moving from from BK Häcken.

She also spoke about the threats of Tottenham to Aston Villa. The Villa boss commented that Celin Bizet Ildhusøy and Grace Clinton have been some of the side’s best players this season. She then compared Tottenham to her side, saying they are ‘similar to us in some aspects.’ But ultimately, Villa have identified their weaknesses and hope to exploit them.

Finally, Carla Ward commented on how her side are hunting down Liverpool and Tottenham in the tail end of the season. She also sees sixth as a good finish. With the injuries and obstacles thrown at the side, she said how everyone has embraced pressure and the challenges of football and how it makes Aston Villa ‘unpredictable’.

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