Marcus Bignot Specialist Coach. England v Brazil Mens U18 International football match, Hednesford Town FC, Hednesford, UK - 08 Sep 2019 Photo: Ryan Browne for The FA

‘Chelsea was a free hit’ – Aston Villa boss Marcus Bignot on Kingsmeadow defeat

Aston Villa boss Marcus Bignot says that the team’s performance against Chelsea at Kingsmeadow on Sunday afternoon will fill them with confidence ahead of a tough run-in.

Bignot was left pleased with his side’s overall performance against the Barclays FA Women’s Super League leaders as Villa were undone by the connection of Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr.

Speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Bignot said that he was impressed with the way in which his side conducted themselves at Kingsmeadow.

“The objective was to stay in the game for as long as possible, we got into half-time at 1-0,” said Bignot.

“I was disappointed in the goal we conceded in terms of the manner in which it was created but overall, I was pleased with the first half.

“It was a blow to concede the second goal in terms of the timing shortly after half-time. We really wanted to get through the period just after half-time not conceding and then you’re certainly in the game.

“I thought we finished the game really strongly and if that was a 1-0 scoreline, we would have got more belief from it.

“I certainly saw a group of players who grew into a game through a performance which was a really good off the ball performance that frustrated Chelsea.”

Continuing to discuss his side’s performance, Bignot believes that he saw an attitude within the team that will help them get through a tough period of games which includes matches against relegation rivals Bristol City, West Ham United and Birmingham City.

“We’re closing the gap of where we need to be in terms of performance with that mentally and tactical understanding,” he added.

“Chelsea was a free hit, it was important that we came out of this game with a level of confidence and momentum going into Everton and that’s followed by Man City.

“It’s very difficult period of games where we probably wouldn’t be expected to pick up any points and certainly in the FA Cup, we won’t be expected to progress.

“Then we go into a group of games against Bristol, two against West Ham and Birmingham, where that group of four games will define our season.”

Villa captain Marisa Ewers went down with a calf injury in the first half and Bignot is hoping that other players will step up to the mark if she is out for a while.

“We’ll have to assess it but if we do lose her, that will be a big blow because I think she’s been outstanding since I’ve arrived,” he said.

“We’ve got players that came on today, who put in as good of a performance. I’ve said over this period of games that we’re going to need every single one of our players.

“Certainly, we’ll be using the Everton and Man City game and today’s game to maximise the playing squad so we’re ready for that group of four games.”

Aston Villa will now travel to Walton Hall Park on Easter Sunday to face Everton in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

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