CARLA WARD is backing Jordan Nobbs to put herself in the frame for a spot in Sarina Wiegman’s England squad.
And the Aston Villa boss, who has extended her contract as manager of the club’s WSL side, has not ruled out more January transfer signings.
Ward, 39, whose team take on Manchester City on Saturday, has seen her side make a winning start to the year following Lucy Staniforth and Nobbs joining their ranks.
The experienced midfield duo were both given debuts by Ward last Saturday with the Villans clinching a 2-1 home win against Tottenham.
Nobbs’ first turnout in a Villa shirt came just over two months on from her recall to the England squad ahead of Wiegman’s side’s friendly defeat of Japan and draw with Norway.
However the player was forced to withdraw from the Lionesses squad ahead of those November due to a minor injury.
Ward, who was impressed by Nobbs’ shift on her Villa debut, said: “After her first game, I’ll be honest, I got straight on the phone to Sarina.
“I said, ‘You’ve got to be watching our games currently because we’ve got players massively performing and they’re doing well’.”
Villa’s duel with Man City at 11:30 on Saturday comes two days after the club announced a contract extension for Ward.
Her new deal will see her remain in charge of the team until the end of the 2023-24 season.
Since taking up the reins after leaving Birmingham City Ward has led her side to a ninth place finish last term.
And she has strengthened the depth of her squad this term adding experienced internationals to her ranks.
Players include summer signings Rachel Daly, Kenza Dali and Kirsty Hanson (who is on loan from Manchester United) with Nobbs and Staniforth joining the club this month.
On Villa’s progress and the possibility of further signings this month, Ward added: “I’m not sure (of more signings).
“But the window is always alive and kicking until it closes. I’ll continue to knock on (Villa head of women’s football) Lee Billiard’s door.
“Some of the infrastructure we’ve put in place, and some of the bodies we’ve brought in has been key to the success on the pitch.
“Now it’s about moving forward.”
Ward’s efforts around development of the team has provided some reward this term.
Her side have reached the knockout stages of the Continental Cup and notched up five wins from their first ten games including a 4-3 defeat of Man City in the league.
Ward, reflecting on the win, said: “That day I was emotionally drained by the 90th minute.
“It was an unbelievable game of football that I’ve watched back a few times.
“I think this one will be very different. Manchester City have progressed massively, as have we.”