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“We have shown an awful lot of character all season” says Villa boss Carla Ward

Aston Villa manager speaks to the media ahead of her sides WSL clash with Everton at the weekend.



3 March 2023

Carla Ward confirmed that she has a fully fit and available squad for the match up on Sunday,“everyone is good, fit and available, obviously Rach [Rachel Daly] came off in the West Ham game with a knock, but she has come through training and she is fit and ready.”


Sunday’s game will be a match-up between two sides who seem to be battling it out for 5th spot, with just one point separating one another.


Ward admitted that Everton may be one of the hardest teams they have faced this season: “they are a good footballing side, I think what you will see this weekend is a good game of football, proper football is what I would call it. The two times we have played them what you have seen is an exceptional game of football, both teams want to play and look after the ball and attack in the right way, so credit to Everton they have had a really good season…I admire the way they play but they play in a similar way, so it will be a good matchup I think, it will be a tight one but hopefully a good one for the neutral.”


When asked how much confidence she has taken following two positive away performances, ahead of another tough trip on the road Ward responded: “I think we have shown an awful lot of character all season. Last week we needed it more than ever.

"We were tired mentally and physically after the international break, but we have shown that we have a lot of character in this dressing room. So yes we are a team that has played free flowing football and yes it creates opportunities, and we want to continue in that way, but we also know we are coming up against a team that has a lot of quality, so we are going to absolutely have to be at our best to try and take the three points.”


When the two teams last met, in October last year, Everton came away with all three points. In this time Ward has strengthened her squad during the January transfer window. Ward was asked if this would give her side an edge over Everton as they will prep to play against a side who are playing in a slightly different set up. “They have changed the way they play as well in all honesty in the last five games, they have slightly adapted the way that they play, you can see that so I think it will definitely be a different game but still certainly it’s going to be two good footballing teams out there, so we are looking forward to it.”


Following the FA Cup quarter-final draw midweek, Aston Villa will host Manchester City. When asked if they will be underdogs going into the game Ward responded: “Absolutely we are underdogs to City, not many teams take points off City. Not many teams take points off them in two games so that will give us a little bit of hope and a little bit of heart, but let’s be honest there is no beating around the bush when we saw that draw you want to avoid the top three.”


Ward went on to praise Manchester City and manager Gareth Taylor: “City have been in unbelievable form and still I don’t think they are getting the plaudits they deserve; I think Gareth has done an unbelievable job and I think your starting to see a really tough team to play against so I think it will be a tough one but one we will certainly enjoy.”


Aston Villa head to Walton Hall Park to face Everton on Sunday at 3pm (GMT).


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