Aston Villa boss Carla Ward spoke to the media this morning ahead of her sides clash with Leicester City this Saturday in the Women's Super League. 

Ward spoke about Anna Patten and her impending Ireland call up, her sides home form this term, Olivia McLoughlin's loan spell at Rangers and more. 

  • Villa's faltering home form:

It's been no secret that Aston Villa's home form this campaign has been the let down to their season, having only mustered one win in the eight home fixtures so far at either The Bescot Stadium or Villa Park. 

The only win on home soil came the weekend before Christmas, when an Adriana Leon goal was enough to see them beat Brighton 1-0 at The Bescot, with all five of their other wins this season coming away from their own patch. 

"To be honest, it's one of those. It's the last game at Bescot this season and we want to try and finish on a high. 

"We know naturally our away form is better, why is that? Couldn't tell you.

"It wont be easy on Saturday, I know  Jen well as she was one of my coaches when I was at Blues, so we expect it to be a tough afternoon." 

  • The goalkeeper situation:

With a hip injury to regular keeper Daphne van Domselaar sidelining her for the rest of the season, it really has been a case of 'when it rains, it pours' for the Midlanders this term. 

Back in December, Ward spoke to VAVEL and said she was after an emergency loan in the keeper department and with the injury to van Domselaar leaving only Anna Leat and Sophia Poor on the books as senior goalkeepers - the worry that they might have to explore something again is always there. 

"We've got Sophia Poor and Anna Leat available, which is good but I am sure we are in a position that if we needed too, we could get an emergency loan goalkeeper. The only problem is, who is available. 

"At the moment we are okay, and fingers crossed it stays that way." 

  • "Don't come back unless you bring a medal back"

Teenage sensation, Olivia McLoughlin has had a stellar time on loan north of the border in Scotland this season. Winning the Sky Sports  SWPL Cup four days ago, as Rangers romped to a 4-1 Victory over Partick Thistle - the loanee herself added the fourth and final goal in the victory.

After making her first team debut for Villa at seventeen, she signed her first pro deal two days after her eighteenth birthday in 2021. Now, finally getting her hands on her first medal, it arrived in her first final with Rangers this term.

"Look, I said to her don't come back unless you bring me a medal back! We've spoken a fair bit and before the game I said to not forget the medal, to which she text me afterwards, 'I'll be bringing it back soon! 

"It's unbelievable for her, I know It's only a shot period but to experience a run in, a cup final at her age when some of the senior players wouldn't have experienced that so it's fantastic for Liv." 

  • "Ireland are getting a top player but a top human too"

It was revealed this morning that defender Anna Patten had pledged her international allegiances to Ireland. The Villa number four was called up to the squad for the upcoming games with France and England, being eligible for the Republic of Ireland through her grandparents. 

"Ireland are getting a top, top player but a top, top person as well, let me tell you that.

"She can step in, she's tenacious, her deep completions are arguably one of the best and she will a hundred percent make Ireland better. 

"I have spoken to her loads of times about her decision and honestly, Ireland are getting a top player, the Irish are going to love her."