Mikey Harris thanked his Albion players for their approach to his debut in charge after a few turbulent days.

Now he hopes the reward will be a place in the semi-finals of the Conti Cup.

Albion host Aston Villa in a last-eight tie at Crawley this evening (7pm) still less than a week on from the sacking of head coach Melissa Phillips.

Harris moved across from the men’s academy to take interim charge and, after one hour-long training session, saw his new side go down 2-0 at Manchester United in the league on Sunday.

Albion had a decent first half and were generally pretty compact throughout.

Now comes a chance in the cup after they progressed through the group with a perfect record.

Harris said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to make it through to a semi-final.

“I learned on Sunday that we have got an amazing group of players both in terms of talent and attitude.

“I think the way they applied themselves to the gameplan and the ideas we showed them the day before, to be able to go and do that and really have large spells of the game where it looked like we would want it to look, I think that is massive credit to them.

“Just with time I am hoping we can build on those things.

“You can’t get all your ideas and detail across in such a short space of time.

“It’s just about us focussing on the foundations and then trying to layer on the details as we go through his period of time.”

Albion's decision to axe Phillips appears to have surprised many who follow the WSL and has met with a mixed reaction.

They won last time out at home with a last-minute 3-2 league success over Bristol City, who are now the only team below them in the table.

Before that, they drew 2-2 with both Manchester United and Leicester City at Broadfield in matches they could well have won.

That might have given their season to date a very different look.

Those league concerns are on the backburner for now with tonight’s game followed by an FA Cup trip to Wolves.

Harris said: “I think the message is to keep believing in what we are doing.

“The challenges are two cup games to come and we are excited by them.”