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Remi Allen paid tribute to the spirit of her Leicester City team mates following their shock 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
The Midland Combination leaders edged out the Northern Division table toppers and Remi told Women's Soccer Scene: "It was a battle - we were up for it and won every challenge to get our reward.
"We scored ten minutes into the second half with a quality finish from just outside the box, on the right hand side, and it was backs against the wall from then. We defended the line as Forest came at us and our players were throwing their bodies on the line by making tackles and blocking shots. We deserved it as a team, every player did their job and we grafted for each other.
"We knew that, if could stick to our game plan, we could win. But you have to prepare yourself differently for these games and it's important to be in the right frame of mind - if you're not 100% on the day, you'll get caught out."
Leicester will play away to Millwall Lionesses in the Fourth Round and Remi is expecting another difficult game. "It will be the same again, all the girls are up for it," she says. "We are going there to try and win though it will be a very tough game as we know nothing about them, but we are relishing the challenge. We prefer it as underdogs as the pressure is off us.
"To play in the FA Cup is always good, as it brings you a chance to play teams you don't know much about and provides a different test."
Leicester are also in the midst of a promotion battle at the top of the Midland Combination and, after having comfortably won titles in recent season, Remi is enjoying the challenge. "It's quite tight between us and West Bromwich Albion at the moment, also Coventry and Wolves are in the frame," she reveals. "It's a much harder challenge this year and we have got to put in good performances.
"It's very important for us to win the league this year and go up to the Premier League. We are ready to take that step up and it's important to prove ourselves at that level. We want to go all the way and have that determination within ourselves to do so."
The Cup victory rounded off an excellent year for Remi, who turned 17 recently, following on from her appearance for England in the UEFA Under-19 Championship Final. "It's been a very good year, surprisingly, but good," she enthuses, "although it is taking it's toll a bit now - but I am enjoying my football.
"Playing for England is a much different standard to what I was used to, but it makes me more determined to prove I can play at that level. It's all about self belief and if I can train hard and work to play at that standard, I know I can succeed.
"We did so well to reach the Final in Iceland but we were a tired team when we played Germany. It had been five games in three weeks against teams like France, Spain and Norway and although the Germans were the better side on the day, it took them until late in extra time to break through."
This year, England are awaiting the draw for the Second Phase and Remi is confident that they can qualify once again. "The squad last year was brilliant," she says, "but we can do just as well this time. There are a lot of new players and it takes time for everyone to interact with each other.
"I'm still one of the younger players in the squad but one of the more experienced!" she laughs. "But every time I go with England, it's a new experience for me."
In the longer term, Remi will hoping for a place in the England squad for next year's Under-20 World Championships in Chile, for which they qualified by reaching the Under-19 Final. "Everyone is putting in 100% effort to challenge for a place in the squad," she admits. "We're not going there just to be a part of it, we're going there to compete and go as far as we can."
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