Casey Stoney.

Stoney: Our mentality must be right

Tonight's game against Aston Villa is our first home fixture in over a month, as we head into the final stages of the season.

Three of our last four matches will be at Leigh Sports Village and, after being away in London and the south a lot recently, it will be nice to not have to travel too much but also to play in front of our wonderful home crowd.

Our last match, two and a half weeks ago, was one such away game in London, against Tottenham Hotspur. They have had a brilliant season under Karen Hills and going into this, it was first versus second in the Championship table.

United celebrate a goal in the 12-0 win at Aston Villa.
United celebrate a goal during the win at Aston Villa on 9 September.

It was a must-win game for us and we were outstanding. The second half was most pleasing for me; the way we controlled the game and the ball, especially on a difficult surface away from home, was superb.

The girls were really professional and there were some standout performances as we won 5-1. Leah Galton had an excellent game.

She’s getting stronger all the time, especially now she’s training consistently without injuries. Leah’s in a good place – she’s confident and almost unplayable at the moment.

In the middle, Katie Zelem was exceptional. She controlled and dictated play which helped us win the match. She’s back to her best after a few injuries herself and she’s a very deserving winner of the FA Women’s Championship Player of the Month award for March.

We welcome Aston Villa on Wednesday. Though we won our previous meeting 12-0 in our first-ever league fixture, it won’t be the same kind of game here.

Villa have improved massively since September and it will be one of the tougher games we have this season. Gemma Davies’s side are organised and will pose threats. Jodie Hutton is a very good player so we will need to be wary of her.

Goals: Villa Ladies 0 United Women 12Video

We can’t go into this game with the wrong mentality because we could come unstuck. As I said after the Spurs match though, our focus for the remaining four games is simple: four wins – the first of which will hopefully come in front of our own fans.

Enjoy the game.

Casey was speaking to Manchester United Women’s official match programme – pick up your free copy at the Aston Villa game on Wednesday (kick-off 19:00 BST at Leigh Sports Village).

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