Carla Ward: Villa Can Take Confidence Into Chelsea Clash

Impetus’ Nathan Edwards was in Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward‘s media conference ahead of today’s visit to Chelsea (30/10/22).

Above: Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward is in a buoyant mood ahead of today’s trip to Kingsmeadow. Photo: Aston Villa Women.

Carla Ward believes Aston Villa “are playing some of the best football she has seen from this group” as they sit seventh going in their Women’s Super League game against Chelsea.

Despite back-to-back defeats against Everton in the space of a week, in the WSL and Conti Cup, Ward doesn’t want her players to get too down on past results. The Villa coach said, “They (Chelsea) are a good side, but so are we and that’s what I told them this morning, and we can take a lot of confidence from the position we are in.

“The pressure will not be on us. Everyone will expect Chelsea to win the game, so we will go there and be competitive. We are playing a top, top side. We have to make sure we can compete and cause them some problems.

“We need to remind the players that we did that against Manchester City, and I know they are at different stages. We are up against one of the best teams in the country, so we have to enjoy going up against these players and these staff, to show what we are about.”

Throughout their losses to the Toffees and against West Ham United, Villa have struggled to find the cutting edge to convert chances, with their penalty shootout defeat on Wednesday a prime example.

“We have dominated our games this season, we have dominated chances and had more final third crosses than any team in the WSL. We are showing we aren’t a little club, but a team that is playing with purpose this year and I think we have shown that.”

Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward on why her side should be confident going to Chelsea.

“If anyone watched Wednesday night, we could have been up 4-0 up by halftime, which was frustrating.”

But despite the strong start, which included that win against Manchester City, Ward is expecting an even more difficult task at Kingsmeadow.

“We know we will be without the ball for large parts of the game and it will be a different test, and manage the moments when we don’t have the ball.”

The game also sees Hannah Hampton available, but after the performances that Anna Leat has put in whilst Hampton has been injured, Ward has got a difficult decision to make.

Ward said “Leat has been outstanding. There has been a lot of talk about when Hannah (Hampton) is coming back, but I think that is highly disrespectful to Leat. We now have two exceptional keepers, that are pushing each other every day and we know we can rely on them, but they will have to fight it out.”

To hear the Chelsea opinion on the match, Nathan Edwards was in Blues General Manager Paul Green’s media conference – click here to read the article:

Above: Aston Villa’s Anna Leat has been in fine form during Hannah Hampton’s absence. Photo: Friends of Football.

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