It’s been four games and four consecutive draws for Aston Villa Women in recent weeks, which leaves them at risk of relegation as the final matchday approaches.
Despite taking the lead against both Bristol and Birmingham City, they conceded two late equalizers in heartbreaking fashion to leave the relegation fight wide open.
Their run culminated with a 0-0 draw against West Ham on Sunday in what was their penultimate game of the season before they face Arsenal at the weekend.
“We all know what three points would’ve given us today,” said Marcus Bignot, as another draw could turn out to be a missed opportunity.
“It would’ve given us an almighty lift and it would’ve put pressure on the teams around us.
“It wasn’t to be, but every point gained is so important.
“In this run of four games, that’s four points now and four games unbeaten, we’ve added to our tally.
“We’ve still got one more game to add to it, so let’s not forget about that.”
A view from Villa Park in our final home fixture of the / season. ️ pic.twitter.com/l9FrDMYwJx— Aston Villa Women (@AVWFCOfficial) May 4, 2021
With four teams in the conversation for relegation, it’s been an intense end to a dramatic season and there is no escaping just how big of an achievement it will be should Villa survive the drop.
“It will be massive for the club and women’s football at this moment in time, the exposure it’s getting, we’re all aware now of the TV deal,” Bignot added.
“I look at this football club, the infrastructure, the support, the facilities, this is a WSL club.
“We’ve got to make sure now as staff and players that we reach that objective, and if we do, I believe this club can go from strength to strength.”
The conclusion of the last two games was on everyone’s minds as they entered stoppage time at Villa Park on Sunday.
To be in a winning position for the majority of a game and lose out in the dying stages is by no means easy to take.
Bignot continued: “I’m so proud of this group of players, to concede in the manner of which we did against Bristol City, you thought was a freak situation.
“To be so close to getting three points, and we knew what three points would’ve meant for us and the confidence it would’ve given us.
“To be knocked back and then go into the Birmingham game and be in a similar position again, I have to give immense credit to our players to bounce back.
“Two really good performances deserving of three points in both games, to have that snatched away and then go again against West Ham today, people would’ve seen that as our achilles heel.
“The development of these players that I’ve seen since I arrived, under the circumstances we’re playing in, I’m proud of every single one of them.
“I really hope we do maintain our WSL status because I believe then this group and club can push on.”
Any points gained against Arsenal on Sunday will be enough to secure WSL football next season, no matter what happens on the south coast where Bristol City face Brighton.
Should Villa lose and Bristol City beat Brighton, it will be Villa who return to the Championship.