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Watford goalkeeper Lauren Davey insists that the team are not getting carried away despite their excellent start to the season.
The Golden Girls clinched top spot in their Premier League Cup group with a 1-0 victory over Barnet, extending their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions, and Lauren told Women's Soccer Scene that they were pleased with their display on the day. "Our first half performance was excellent," she said. "We kept the ball well and created lots of opportunities and were unlucky not to be more than one goal up.
"In the second half, Barnet upped their game and we had to show how solid we were defensively by only allowing them minimal opportunities. Overall it was a good performance and another building block to improving as a team and getting to where we want to be."
The match with Barnet was a decider for top spot in the group and Lauren admitted that this was vital to her side. "During the season we set ourselves aims and this was one of them," she replied. "Finishing top means you tend to get an easier next round and we really want to progress far in the competition. This is the best way of doing that."
The win was even more impressive when considering that the Golden Girls were without Sarah Wiltshire and Josie Green, who were on international duty with Wales. "Any team would miss the likes of Sarah and Josie," admitted Lauren, "but it just shows the strength in depth we have as a squad that anyone who is required to step in can do a fantastic job for the team and help us to get a great result."
Watford's tremendous improvement this season has been well documented and now they are casting their eyes on some silverware. "It [the Premier League Cup] is one of our major aims this season," says Lauren. "Last year it had to take a back seat as avoiding relegation was key for us, so this year we are trying to get a good Cup run going and then you never know!"
So why have Watford improved so much? "It is now a club where everyone looks forward to seeing each other and working hard for each other," replies Lauren. "The atmosphere and team spirit is great. it's hard to put a finger on what the key was but a major influence is our staff. Since John [Salomon] and Chris [Thurston] have come in, they have set a fantastic framework for the club, really building it as a whole. It is a huge difference."
Part of that difference has seen Watford become the only team so far to have taken points off reigning Champions Sunderland, having drawn 2-2 with them on both occasions. Has this given the team extra confidence? "Of course!" laughs Lauren. "When you manage to take points off the Champions, you can't help but gain confidence, but we are well aware of how tough this league is, so we are conscious to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard."
This Sunday, Watford return to the league with a trip to Cardiff City Ladies where a win could see them climb as high as second place. "It's a huge match," says Lauren. "We are on a great run of form and really need to keep that momentum throughout the season, and a win would do that. Cardiff are a great side and will be a good challenge for us - if we work for each other and play the way we know we can, we have a great opportunity to take all three points.
"There is still a long way to go yet, so it us hard to say where we will finish. We just take every match as it comes and try to get the most points we can, and see where we end up."
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