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“Not my problem” – Aston Villa boss Carla Ward shows no sympathy for Manchester United after Conti Cup points deduction fiasco

Aston Villa Women manager Carla Ward showed no pity towards Marc Skinner’s Manchster United who were the fall-guys following the Villans’ points deduction in the Conti Cup last week.

The Villans had three points removed in the group stages of the cup after fielding an ineligible player in their, no redundant, 7-0 win over Sunderland who had already played in the competition in for Arsenal leaving her cup-tied.

New signing Noelle Maritz had already appeared three times for Arsenal in the competition which led to an FA investigation.

MATCH REPORT – Jordan Nobbs Stars In Frustrating 2-2 Draw For Aston Villa Against Bottom Of The WSL Bristol City

The deduction meant that they finished second in their group and still progressed as one of the two best runners-up, at the expense of United who were dumped out of the competition.

Ward was making her feelings towards the situation clear after her side’s 2-2 draw with Bristol City in the WSL on Saturday afternoon in which Villa utterly dominated their opponents but couldn’t grasp the three points.

“When you have 36 opportunities at goal you probably should be walking away with a far healthier scoreline,” the 40-year-old coach said, struck with disappointment after the game.

“We’ve dominated every statistic by quite some way. But look, I’ve been in the position Bristol have been in and you have to fight, and you have to keep fighting until you find a way and they did that to get a point. But we need to work that box a little bit better and be a little bit more clinical.”

The hosts had 36 shots on goal at the Bescot Stadium compared to the visitors’ four, but the latters’ impressive efficiency in front of goal despite their lack of threat proved vital.

Villa have struggles so far this season compared to their stellar campaign last year in which they finished fifth in the league, but performances have started to pick up despite the lack of bite in their forward line.

“At the start of the season we weren’t creating that many opportunities,” insisted Ward.

“We’re creating so many now. We’re creating enough to win games by a big margin but, look, it’s a confidence thing maybe in front of goal, I’m not sure, but we’ll continue to work on that.”

The Aston Villa team huddle after their point against Bristol City.

Sufferers of a midfield crisis after a tricky January, the Villans lost key midfielder Laura Blindkilde to Manchester City at the end of the transfer window as England international Lucy Staniforth suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

With no time to bring in sufficient depth, Ward has been left short of tools as she looks to stave off being dragged into a late relegation battle

“Have you seen our squad?” Ward, the former midfielder, exclaimed when questioned on her team’s depth in the middle of the park.

“We have two midfielders. We play a system that we need more than that but we’ve spoken about that a lot and we are where we are. We have to dig in. We have to stick together. We have to find another way, play different players in different positions and that’s what we’ll try and do now.”

The West Midlands club now turn their gaze to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday in the aforementioned Conti Cup semi-final, something that the English manager will be hoping will help move her players on from the weekend’s point, which ultimately felt like a defeat.

“The Conti Cup is something that we take seriously, we always want to take seriously, and I think it’s no different now. I think we have to try and go there and win and then all of a sudden if we do, we’re in a semi-final of a cup and that’s what we want to go after.”

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