By Paul Brown
Joe Hunt says there's a "new-found confidence" in the Villa Ladies camp as they head into their League Cup clash with Leicester Ladies on Sunday.
Villa Ladies have enjoyed three wins in four games and Hunt says those results have made a big impact on the squad morale.
He says the team are buoyant and excited about forthcoming matches.
He said: "The squad has trained exceptionally well this week.
"The mood in the group is building every week. There's a real feel-good factor and a new found confidence. If you add that to the sheer determination to work hard you've got a good recipe for success.
"We want to build on our good results now. We have a mixture of fixtures coming up with League Cup, National Division and County Cup in the next three weeks. We want to win every match we play.
"This week we take on the Foxes for our third group game in the League Cup.
"It's not a knockout competition at this point and for that reason, even though we lost to Coventry the other week, we are still second in the group. A win would put us in the hunt to qualify from the group."
Hunt paid tribute to Katie Wilkinson and Maddy Cusack on the eve of the game.
He continued: "Our general performance level is getting better every week.
"We still try and make things hard for ourselves by giving the opposition chances to score but we are now creating more opportunities with some exciting play.
"Katie has made a massive difference to the team. Her link play has been quality but she has also popped up with vital goals.
"Hopefully her form will continue for the rest of the season! She gets the best out of our wide players - Bethan Merrick, Kelly Clarke, Chick Fergusson and Emma Follis.
"All four have had some great spells in the last three games.
"The emergence of Maddy has been fantastic too. Every game she gets better and better.
"We've been looking to give her a rest for the last few weeks but she delivered the goods in every game. I don't think she'd be impressed if I pulled her this week against her former team!"
Dani Petrovic [rested], Tash Merritt [rested], Carly Davies [concussion] and Emma Follis [bruised ribs] are unavailable.
Becky Anderson will also not be playing as she is in talks with Coventry City about a proposed move.
Hunt added: "Becky deserves the chance to play at in the National Division. Unfortunately with the emergence of Maddy, Abbeyleigh and the established players of Sherry, Katie and Tash she hasn't been able to force her way into the sixteen.
"Becky is top notch, a fantastic girl who wants to work hard to improve. I'm sad she may go but wish her all the best at Coventry."
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