Jennifer Foster

Foster: The Squad’s Motivated For Villa Encounter

Jennifer Foster is not wavering from the ambition of finishing as high up the Barclays Women’s Super League table as possible this term, as the campaign moves into its final stages.
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LCFC Women face Aston Villa in their final test before the international break on Saturday, a 12:30pm GMT kick-off at Poundland Bescot Stadium.

The battle between seventh and ninth in the WSL was previewed by City’s Assistant Manager on Thursday afternoon, during her pre-match press conference held at Belvoir Drive, discussing why there is still plenty to play for as far as the league is concerned.

The target

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Jutta Rantala

Jutta Rantala found the net in last weekend's defeat by Brighton.

Currently occupying ninth place, the Foxes have 16 points to their name from 17 matches, unable to add to their tally last weekend, narrowly beaten 3-2 by Brighton & Hove Albion on Filbert Way. A win on Saturday, however, would see Leicester rise back up to seventh, above the Villans.

“We need to try and get maximum points from every game and that needs to be the mindset,” Foster explained. “I think if we stray away from that, that’s when it can hurt us. That still needs to be the ambition (to get top six).

“If for whatever reason that doesn’t happen, seventh is still a massive push for us and a lot better finish than last year. We just need to focus on us, you never know what results will happen with the teams around you.

"We fell short in the last two weeks, but we know what we need to do to and areas that we need to tighten up on. I have every faith that the team will get where it needs to be by the end of the season.

“The difficulty is we then have the international break so picking up momentum this weekend with a win all of sudden gets halted before then. You can take some positives; it’s just making sure the players who go away on international duty come back in a fit state going back into it.”

Analysis on the Villans

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Alisha Lehmann

Aston Villa will be the hosts on Saturday.

Carla Ward’s side have also been fairly inconsistent this season, losing out to Arsenal last week, but did come out on top when the pair met at Pirelli Stadium earlier in the year, claiming a 1-0 success.

“They’re probably been a little bit like us at times,” Foster commented on the opposition. "In the sense that they’ve managed to grind out results and get results - and some really good ones at that - and then they’ve probably fallen short on occasion.

“I think it’ll be a great game. We know the strengths that they possess, especially in that front line, so it’ll be a pretty even test and probably come down to some individual quality and some collective quality from the team in the end.”

Focus on transitions

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CJ Bott

All focus has been on picking up a positive result before the international break.

Learning from the errors made against the Seagulls has been high up on the agenda in training this week, Foster revealed, but she is confident of a response from the squad when they travel to Walsall.

“It’s an area of focus every week because of the style we play,” she continued. “When you look at that Liverpool game a couple of weeks ago, we were excellent with it. As long as we do our jobs higher up the pitch, it actually prevents a lot of those transitions.

“In the last two weeks, we haven’t been as good as we have been and I think that showed and was the reason why we were exploited a little bit in those games, which was disappointing for us.

“We know that if we execute the game plan properly and get into those areas higher up the pitch, we actually prevent those transition moments happening.”

Attacking talents on show

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Yuka Momiki

Yuka Momiki in training earlier this week at Belvoir Drive.

Foster also spoke about the attacking quality that the Foxes possess in midfield, with Yuka Momiki, Sam Tierney and Emilia Pelgander all contributing to a free-flowing system through the middle, providing opportunities for the likes of Jutta Rantala and Lena Petermann in attack.

She added: “The quality this year and the players that we added in January, there’s great talent in this squad. Yuka is fantastic and can find those opportunities, but we’ve also got a lot of depth in the squad to do the same thing. When you have that, it creates a good team and we’re not just reliant on her.

“What we forget is that Sam Tierney is similar in the opposite no.10. She is very good at finding those pockets of space and those through balls as well so those two working together in those positions are a real threat. And then you’ve also got Emilia who provides the same.”

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