Villa Ladies verdict: Hunt seeks to eliminate costly errors
Head coach Joe Hunt was left to rue the same errors that keep costing Aston Villa Ladies a chance of victory after their Second City derby defeat to Birmingham City Ladies.
Villa are still looking for their first win of the season as they slipped to their fifth defeat in six games against a strong Blues side, and Hunt feels that, once more, the manner in which his side conceded was avoidable.
"It was another difficult game against a very good side but again, the two goals were our own fault," Hunt said.
"Dan [Petrovic] was upset about the mistake for our second but it's not just Dan, we all keep doing it.
"We're making mistakes and unfortunately we always get punished for them; we never seem to get away with them recently. If you're two down after 15 minutes, you're going to struggle."
After recovering from going 2-0 down in the first half, Villa responded after the interval and Hunt was pleased with the improvement made, particularly the impact of substitutes Livy Fergusson, Alicia Robinson and Tasha Baptiste.
"I think the early goals did have a big effect on the girls' confidence and it took them a good 25 minutes to get going again," he admitted.
"But in the second half we were better. Birmingham were able to take off [Karen] Carney and [Jo] Potter and it was fairly easy for them at times, but we got closer to them and we didn't let them put it in behind us.
"We had opportunities but we just lack that final ball sometimes.
"We looked a bit more compact and we were pleased with what they did, but we didn't really create many clear-cut chances; Carly [Davies] had a few runs where they tried to put her in but it never quite broke for her.
"I was pleased with Livy, Tash and Alicia when they came on and I thought they added something to it; Livy was really unfortunate not to start, actually.
"Those three have really pushed themselves forward for Saturday."
Villa picked up five bookings, unusual in term of yellow cards received so far this season, and Hunt acknowledged that although the squad is still very young, they must still take responsibility.
"I think the bookings were a sign of frustration," he said.
"That happens in the game; they want to do well and sometimes they're a little bit late.
"The annoying ones are when they get booked for dissent - they've got to be better than that.
"You expect them to tackle and sometimes they mis-time it, but you shouldn't be getting a booking for dissent.
"It's a real young team and sometimes you forget that. Sometimes you forget that you've got 17-year-olds playing in goal and in midfield.
"But although they are young, at the same time they've still got to be accountable - same as Pet [Dani Petrovic], Mozza [Katy Moran] and Chloe [Jones]. They're all in it together."
Villa now face another trip to Yeovil Town Ladies - in the FA Women's Super League 2 this time - and Hunt is convinced his side will be determined to turn their fortunes around.
"Without trying to sound like a broken record, we'll go again and we'll get ready for Saturday," he said.
"That win is only around the corner - it can't continue like this for us and it will come eventually.
"The fixtures haven't been kind but we've done well and we should have got more out of the games that we have done.
"When we watched the Yeovil game back, yes we gave bad goals away and they frustrated us but we dominated the game and we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.
"Hopefully it will be the same again this weekend and we'll end up going down there and scoring this time.
"The girls will react - I know they will.
"They're really disappointed and I think they'll come out all guns blazing on Saturday."