Carla Ward: Leicester Game Offers A “Different Type Of Pressure”

Impetus’s Nathan Edwards was in Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward‘s media conference today ahead of her side’s trip to the King Power Stadium on Sunday (23/9/22).

Above: Aston Villa boss Carla Ward knows that despite beating Manchester City last week, nothing can be taken for granted when they face Leicester City on Sunday. Photo: Aston Villa Women.

Carla Ward expects a “tougher game” against Leicester City, compared to Aston Villa’s 4-3 victory against Manchester City last weekend.

The Villans head to the King Power Stadium off the back of a historic seven-goal thriller against Gareth Taylor’s outfit. But opening the campaign with a 4-3 win over last season’s third-place finishers, Ward believes her side needs to adapt to a new challenge.

“It is going to be a tougher game for me than City because it is a completely different element. I watched the Leicester versus Tottenham game and it was very transitional. We must ensure we don’t fall into that and control large parts of it.

“People will believe we will go there and win the game which is a different pressure altogether and we have to accept that.”

It was a perfect start for the Villans, who have already scored 30% of the goals they managed last season, with new signing Rachel Daly collecting a brace on her debut. Daly scored the winner with 14 minutes remaining, and the England international has made a huge impact beyond her goal threat.

Above: Freya Gregory signing her new deal at the Midlands club this week. Photo: Aston Villa Women.

The Villa boss said, “I think Rachel and Kenza (Dali) are winners and they want to get after people and get in people’s faces. Along with Kirsty (Hanson) they have come from winning environments, which is important, and they have installed that.

“They have also brought in a belief that it doesn’t matter who you are playing against it is 11 versus 11 and it is continually important to tell the girls that. It is also about expressing yourself and making mistakes we aren’t going to get after you for making mistakes unless you make the same mistake ten times, but we want to show what we are about.”

The new faces Ward has managed to attract to the club have also been key in guiding the young players who have worked their way into the first team squad.

In addition, Freya Gregory signed a new three-year deal with the club this week, something that symbolises the long-term aims that Villa are trying to put into action.

“It shows from a club’s point of view that we have a real strategic plan in place for the next three to five years, which is vital. We know what we have and where we want to get to along with who can help us to reach that and Freya (Gregory) is a piece of that puzzle as are the other youngsters.

“We are building a plan that players like Freya can look at and say that they want to be a part of it.”

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