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Amanda Barr feels that Birmingham City can get better after their opening day 1-0 victory over newly promoted Bristol City in the National Division. The England striker scored the only goal of the game in injury time and told Women's Soccer Scene after the match that it needed patience to beat their plucky opponents. "I think we believed it was always going to come," said Amanda. "We've got over half a team of new players and we're going to need a bit of time to gel but the main thing was that we got the goal in the end and got the three points, that's all that matters really, and we can build on that now. The coaching staff will go away and work on what went wrong today and work on that in training, and we can get better as each game goes along."
Amanda admitted that Bristol City had pushed her team hard during the match. "Bristol had nothing to lose and all the pressure was on. Everyone expected us to win, however we didn't underestimate them. We knew it was going to be tricky when we came here today and we knew it was going to be a battle, and a battle it was, but we're glad that we got the three points in the end."
But with so many high profile players having joined the Blues, does that bring a different kind of pressure and high expectations? "Every player that has come into the squad has played for England at some level," says Amanda, "and already the talk is about teams that can win the league and our name keeps cropping up. Because of that, the challenge is to perform in every game and get the three points, and let other teams worry about us."
Referring to her goal, Amanda added: "It's always nice to score, especially when you come to a new team. It's going to be difficult keeping a shirt here because there's that many players fighting for a place. There are six top class strikers here and I've just got to carry on doing what Marcus (Bignot) brought me here for and that is to score goals, and if I can do that then hopefully I can keep my shirt."
Next up for the Blues this Sunday will be the first of three successive home matches and they face one of her former clubs, Doncaster Rovers Belles. "That's going to be another tough one," she says. "I don't think a lot of people are expecting Doncaster to do well, they've lost a lot of players, however again we're going to have to play well just to get the three points."
In the meantime, Amanda has stayed on in Bristol to join up with the England squad for their match against Russia at the Memorial Stadium this week, and is aiming to add to her current international tally of four goals. "I scored against Russia last time and I'll be looking to do that again if, and that's an if, I start - you can't take anything for granted. I started the last game but doesn't mean I am going to start this time, I've just got to go and train hard and hopefully I will be starting on Thursday. If not, I'll just have to hope that I come on and can score."
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