Villa Ladies preview: Boss Hunt - We're still on cloud nine
Joe Hunt admits Villa Ladies are still on "cloud nine" as they get set for a tough challenge against current League Champions Sunderland Ladies.
After earning Super League status and winning the League Cup over the course of two weeks, the camp is still buzzing with the feel-good factor.
Hunt is thrilled with this positivity, which was further enhanced when the squad paraded the trophy at Villa Park during half-time at the Chelsea game [above].
But the boss accepts it will take more than good feelings to see off the Black Cats at Boldmere on Sunday [kick-off 2pm].
Hunt is a huge admirer of Sunderland Ladies and their manager Mick Mulhern, who was worked wonders for several seasons.
But he's hoping to get the better of him this weekend.
He said: "The last few weeks have been unbelievable.
"We have been successful with our Super League bid and then we have won our first League Cup up in York.
"We are all still on cloud nine. We've had so many kind words from supporters and staff at the club and we really appreciate it.
"We still have three league games left this season and we want to go out in style. We want to enjoy our football but win games.
"Sunderland Ladies will be a massive test for us. They are a quality team.
"Mick Mulhern is the most successful manager in the division and one of the best in the country.
"He has produced a magnificent team who have dominated the division for the last three years.
"They need to get a positive result against us to overtake Watford Ladies who have finished their league campaign and to keep Leeds Ladies off their tails.
"We took points off Leeds Ladies a few weeks ago and dented their title hopes but now they will be hoping we do the same to Sunderland Ladies.
"We lost 2-1 away to them earlier in the season. It was a tough game and I feel we should've got a point from the match.
"They got a very fortunate penalty but scored a wonderful second goal to take the points.
"My team are full of confidence at the moment. We can't wait for the game.
"They were excellent in training this week, full of tempo but playing with quality too."
Hunt picked out several players for praise on the eve of the Sunderland Ladies clash.
He added: "We had some massive performances in the Cup Final.
"Defensively we were outstanding. Megan Walsh made an unbelievable save to tip a free-kick on to the bar, but overall she was protected well by Erin Vaughan, Aoife Mannion, Jade Richards and captain Dani Petrovic.
"We must have done well attacking in the game because the man-of-the-match was the Leeds Ladies centre-back.
"Chloe Jones adds a touch of class to the team. She has stepped into Katie Wilkinson's position as the high striker and really makes us tick.
"Emma Follis and Kelly Clarke both like playing off her, then you've got Abbeyleigh Stringer, Maddy Cusack and Sherry McCue trying to support from centre midfield.
"It's exciting times at Aston Villa, it's a shame the season is coming to an end."
Get along to Boldmere St Michael's Ground [Sat Nav: B73 5RY] to support Villa Ladies. Admission is £2.
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