- Lydia Bedford previews LCFC Women's clash with Aston Villa on Sunday (2pm GMT kick-off)
- The Barclays FA Women's Super League encounter takes place at Pirelli Stadium
- City are focused on the job at hand against their Midlands neighbours, says Bedford
The Foxes meet Aston Villa at Pirelli Stadium on Sunday with the aim of recording a third successive home victory in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, following triumphs over Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion either side of Christmas.
Ahead of the encounter in Burton, the manager sat down at Belvoir Drive for her pre-match press conference with the national media, explaining that no one within the camp is getting carried away, despite a promising start to the year, both in terms of results and performances.
“We are very focused on each game as it comes,” Bedford commented. “And the girls know that they can’t be enjoying last weekend too much because we can’t take our eyes off what we’ve got to try and achieve this weekend.
“I think it’s about performances and focusing on that, not the results. You can always win games of football and play poorly, but generally, in my opinion, if you get your performance right, the results will come at some point.
“For us, if you go back to the Reading game, we felt our performance in the second half deserved something, but we didn’t get it. Last weekend, our performance deserved something, and we did get it.
“As long as we focus on what we are trying to achieve on the pitch and that becomes our main focus, we don’t get too caught up on the points and the results, then hopefully that will go well for us, and we’ll get what we deserve.
“For us, anything we can do in gaining points this weekend is a bonus. I very much feel that the pressure is on whoever is playing us right now and not on us. We’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll play the game with that mindset.”
Since arriving in December, Bedford believes the players have taken ownership of the situation themselves and praised the attitude shown in training, which serves to set the tone and provide the best possible preparation for matchday.
LCFC Women 1 Brighton & Hove Albion Women 0
Watch extended highlights from LCFC Women's WSL victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at King Power Stadium.
She continued: “On Tuesday, there was definitely a real nice vibe around the camp, and I think that has continued across the week, but equally, no one is getting ahead of themselves. These are senior players, they are professionals.
“They are very diligent in what they do on and off the pitch and in their work-rate and ability to put into practice what we are asking of them on the training pitch throughout the week. They hold each other accountable; I don’t really have to do that - that’s really important.
“When the whistle goes on a matchday, there’s only a minimal amount that I can really influence, and they’ve got to drive what they are doing on the pitch and problem solve what’s happening in front of them.
“We’re just giving them the tools to be able to do that. That starts on the training pitch and hopefully you see the product of it on matchdays.
They know where they are and they know what they need to do. They have belief that they are capable of doing it and they work really hard for each other.Lydia Bedford
“Whether it’s a small-sided game in training or on a matchday, I’ll watch players throwing themselves in front of the ball to try and stop goals every day. I think we’ve got that mentality and that’s a real edge for us.
“They know where they are and they know what they need to do. They have belief that they are capable of doing it and they work really hard for each other. If you’ve got that, you’ve got half a chance.”
The Villans were Leicester’s first WSL opponents back in September 2021, when the home side came out on top in a closely fought encounter. That was the start of a good run for Carla Ward’s side, but they have since lost their last four in the league.
Sunday’s opponents are now in sight for City, with a four-point gap currently separating the teams. Although Villa have played a game fewer, this weekend provides an opportunity to close in on several teams.
“We started really well and didn’t get the result (vs. Villa),” City’s manager said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of confidence that will come from that, plus what we’ve done in the meantime to build on it. The girls know this is a game that we’ll target, as with all of them, to try and get some points from.
Bedford Focusing On Performances
Lydia Bedford fielded questions from the media on Thursday afternoon as she looked ahead to hosting Aston Villa in the Barclays FA Women's Super League.
“I don’t think I need to hammer that message too much with them this week. They are up for it and they know what their roles are. I’m confident they’ll deliver them.
“Villa have been a little inconsistent over the last six to seven games. They’ve played some tough teams. Carla [Ward] is a great coach and she’ll have them very organised in terms of what they are going to execute. Ultimately, they are going to want to win the game regardless of their previous form.
“They’ve been missing a few players because of the Asia Cup as well, but all in all, they are a team that is definitely there to take the points if they get it right on gameday.
“You can look into it, and you can worry about where they are, or you can focus on what we’re doing well and what we need to tidy up on. We might have beaten Brighton, but there were definitely moments in the game where we could have been tidier in what we were doing.
“It’s about making sure that we’re ready for the weekend. I expect it will be a really tasty game on Sunday.”
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