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Nottingham Forest are gearing up for their F.A. Women's Cup Fourth Round tie away to Gillingham this Sunday after finally being able to catch up their games following a series of postponements.
Forest clinched their place in this stage with a 5-1 victory over Sheffield Utd Community last Sunday and manager Tanya Oxtoby is anticipating a tough challenge this week. "The game against Gillingham will be a really good test for us, given the distance we are going to have to travel pre-match and also the quality of the opposition," says Tanya, who also plays for Everton in the FA WSL. "Given the girls have had such an interrupted season since Christmas with games being postponed, it's been hard to get any real momentum going, but if we can tidy up in a few key areas and make sure we continue to follow our tactical game plan I'm confident the result will take care of itself on Sunday."
Forest reached the quarter finals three years ago and defender Laura O'Neill (pictured) is quietly confident that her side are capable to matching that this time around. "Forest Ladies have had a strong run in the F.A.Cup so far and we are building upon our 6-3 win over Bradford, and our 5-1 win over Sheffield United Community to hopefully overcome Gillingham and propel us into the Fifth Round," she said.
"I feel we have found our feet once again after a prolonged break and on our day could compete with any team remaining in the competition.
"It would be a great honour and achievement for Forest Ladies to reach the Fifth Round with the ever improving standard of women's football and the entrance of the WSL teams. However we are aware that Gillingham are not to be taken lightly and I feel Sunday will be a big test for both teams. Nevertheless we are one hundred percent confident we have what it takes to win!
"In 2007 I experienced watching my first women's Final between Arsenal and Charlton and it was that memory of watching my role models play in front of such a huge crowd that cemented my love for the women's game. Personally I thrive off F.A.Cup games as I grew up watching the finals at Nottingham Forest's City Ground with over 24,000 spectators. My aim from a young age was to one day play in an F.A.Cup Final; to beat Gillingham on Sunday will be one more step towards reaching my own personal goal.
"The team's ever growing hunger and desire for success after being relegated from the National Division last season will undoubtedly play a huge part in Sunday's game. It is our personal pride and determination to progress individually and as a team in the competition that has formed our unyielding winning mentality - and Sunday is no exception.
"Gillingham will be our toughest test yet in 2013 and we are welcoming the opportunity to prove to ourselves and others how much potential we have to proceed in the competition."
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