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Carla Ward notes heightened competition within her Aston Villa squad

Carla Ward talks January transfers, progress and goals and the ambition of her opponents ahead of Aston Villa's match against Spurs


Girls on the Ball

13 January 2023

Aston Villa take on Tottenham Hotspur in the WSL on Saturday at 12:30pm.  Here is what Carla Ward had to say in her pre-match press conference.


How important are the signings of Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Staniforth for the club?

"It is massive, I think it is important we keep progressing in the way that we want to and think it is important to have got a couple of experienced heads in the building”.  She added they “will probably have to slightly adapt to the way they do things, they're used to winning football matches for fun, used to having the ball a lot”.

“You can’t underestimate a winning mentality, a hunger and desire but most importantly an experience of winning football matches”

“They have been exceptional this week, a breath of fresh air, positive, lively but most of all they are winners”. 

Ward also spoke about the pair bringing competition for an eleven that arguably didn’t have much competition for the first half of the season as they played the same players for most games.


If bringing experienced players to the club helps improve the younger players?

Ward said she suggests that the youngsters go and sit next to the experienced players, “soak up, ask them went well, ask about their failures, ask them how they got to where they got to, how they won trophies”. 


Is there pressure on you to get results after bringing in players of this calibre?

Ward noted there is pressure everyday in the job and that is what she loves, to have to think everyday might be your last day in the job. Ward said she always wants more and bringing these players in allows you to grow and “pressure is a privilege”.  If there is no pressure then you're not doing things well.


Is progress at the club since you joined where abouts you expected?

Ward said she believes it is and believes they are on track.  She said “I like to think we are in a good place”.


Thoughts on opponents Tottenham Hotspur?

“Spurs are a good side, they have some great players, signing Beth England is a massive statement”

Also said the England signing shows their ambition and intent and will help them massively as maybe been missing that cutting edge. Ward added that a lot of eyes will be on this fixture due to transfers both sides have made in January, and hope it is a good game of football with two teams with very good players and should be an exciting one.


How is everyone after the break and team news?

"The break came at the right time and everyone had a decent amount of time off.  They have come back in recharged and refreshed and ready to go”. 

She added there are sixteen available players for the weekend which will put uVilla in a good position.  Emily Gielnik is back and a couple more that are touch and go and will look at today (Friday). 


How much more competitive is the transfer market?

Ward said that they will not be drawn into some of the big fees, Villa have spent pennies but have been clever with recruitment and what they need and getting the right players in. “We have a clear strategy and vision, and will continue to do things the way we feel best for the club and women’s football”.


Are you revising the ambitions of the club or keeping them the same?

“We want to be better every day, we want to win as many matches as possible, but we do want to keep on improving” Ward said, but also said she “will not come out and say something like they are going to finish really high, but want to improve everyday and finish as high as possible by doing things the right way and playing a brand of football I believe in”.


Thoughts on the January transfer window?

Ward said that this is an interesting window and she thinks there will be a lot more movement than most due to the World Cup in the summer and players wanting to play before that.  She added they have done some summer business early by bringing in two midfielders. 


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