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We talk to...Olivia Thackray (Leeds United)
 Women's Football News 17 Jan 2014
We talk to...Olivia Thackray (Leeds United) - 17 Jan 2014 - Women's Football NewsLeeds United went through to the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup with a 4-1 victory over Loughborough Students on Sunday. 
Olivia Thackray was amongst the Leeds scorers on the day and the talented midfielder reflected on the win, and a transitional season for her club, as well as looking forward to the prospect of taking on London Bees in the next round: 
A 4-1 away win is always a good result, did the team's performance on the day reflect this?
I think that the win was thoroughly deserved but it was a tough test against a very well organised team. They were probably just on top for the first 25 minutes but after that we dictated play. Even when we went behind, we were able to get straight back into the game, equalising a minute later. We pushed on and stepped up a gear in the second half and in the end it was a comfortable victory.

Was it good to take a break from the league and concentrate on the cup?
It was a good opportunity to play against a team in a lower league and build confidence after a disappointing result/performance the week before and enabled us to concentrate on our consistency of play. After already being knocked out of the League Cup it was good to have the chance to progress in the FA Cup and for many of the girls it was their first experience of the competition which I am sure they enjoyed.

Was it a particularly pleasing win seeing that you had to come from behind?
It was disappointing to concede a goal but I think we were always confident as a team that we were going to go on and win the game especially going in level at the break. It was one of our objectives not to concede but we showed good spirit as a team to come from behind and win comfortably.

Just how tough a season has it been so far after so many departures from the club?
A lot of the players in the current squad would not have dreamt they would have been playing in the first team this season. It has given them the opportunity to play at a higher level 2-3 years earlier than they would have expected, which is a positive for the club's future as they will be gaining invaluable experience at a younger age. The club is in a transition at the moment with a new squad and management team and so it was always going to be difficult to hit the same heights as previous years, but the future certainly looks bright and hopefully in the next few years we will be competing in the Super League where the club belongs.

Are you confident that the team can make it to mid-table security this season?
Yes I am hopeful we can push on and have a successful second half of the season. The squad and staff have been together for six months now and I think everything is a lot more settled and heading in the right direction with one shared vision. The management team have been working really hard to give the team the best opportunity to succeed and we are hoping that this extra effort and organisation will take us to mid-table security.

How important have the goals from the likes of Carey Huegett and Abbie McIver been?
Of course they have been hugely important for results and with any luck they will be able to replicate this form in the second part of the season, however it is not just down to these two to score the goals and hopefully others like myself will be able to chip in with a few. Both players offer a lot more than just goals to the team and their experience, work ethic and performances this season have been vital in the successes we have had.

You have been drawn at home to London Bees in the next round of the Cup, how much are you looking forward to taking on a WSL side?
It will be a good opportunity to see where we stand at the moment against a WSL2 side. Obviously it will be a test to play against a team from a higher level but we will go into the game with confidence that we can get a victory at home and we'll certainly be doing everything we can to progress through into the next round of the cup.

Is it a bit of a shame that you have no game this week, as you are looking to pick up momentum?
Yes it definitely is, the only benefit is that it gives us an additional opportunity to work on any weak points from the previous games and prepare further for the upcoming matches.

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