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Ellen Maggs is feeling optimistic about the future for Birmingham City after their recent good run which has taken them to the fringes of the National Division title race. After a summer of many signings, the Blues took a little time to gel together at the start of the season but recent victories over Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers, as well as reaching the semi finals of the Premier League Cup, have confirmed that things are coming together. "We've won four in a row, which is a nice little run for us," the England striker told Women's Soccer Scene. "We've got two more games now before the big one in the Cup against Arsenal, so if we can win those two it will give us a massive chance of getting into the final, which is what we're hoping to do."
Ellen also felt that their win at Bristol Rovers was their best performance to date. "We beat Charlton at home but we had a good crowd that day and it all came together," she admits, "but coming here today we knew we were in for a tough game and it was a hard one. We missed a couple of chance to wrap it up but they also looked like nicking a goal as well so it was a great result for us."
One aspect of the win was a fine defensive display, in particular by captain Laura Bassett, and Ellen revealed that the Blues have worked on getting things right at the back. "We started the season by conceding goals so we went back to basics - old Birmingham, hard to beat - and that's what we are now, hard to beat, and nicking goals at the other end as well now."
For Ellen herself, it has been a frustrating start to the season as she has been restricted by injury, but she is now feeling much more positive. "That is the first time that I've played two weeks in a row," she says, "I've either played a week and missed a week or come on as substitute, so for me personally the season is getting better. I'm starting to play more now and today I felt that was the best I've played this season. There's still a lot to come from me, still a lot of things I'm moaning at myself for but I'm getting there!"
So what is a realistic aim for Birmingham now? "A lot of teams have been writing us off already and we're loving it! There were high expectations of us at the start of the season without us really proving it, we struggled a bit at the start but now we're starting to play more. The big players are starting to play and lesser known players like Karen Carney, Heather Scheuber and even Alex Scott have come in and are playing well. I don't think the top three will be too far away from us, and we'll be disappointed if we're not there or thereabouts at the end of the season."
Next week sees Ellen link up with the England squad for their training camp in the North West. "I've been lucky enough for a year now to be consistently getting in the squad but now is the time when people are getting cut or getting involved and the youngsters are coming through as well so hopefully every time I go there I will do enough to impress and get myself in the squad for the European Championships."
You can view the Ellen Maggs interview in full, right now, by clicking on the WSS 1 TV Channel!
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