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Women's Football News
Crystal Palace stole the headlines on Sunday with a shock 2-0 victory over Premier League side Derby County in the F.A.Women's Cup Third Round.
We spoke to Eagles striker Roschelle Shakes and she reflected with great pride on the win and the support the team received on the day, whilst looking forward to their Fourth Round tie against Portsmouth:
Many congratulations on your win over Derby, do you feel the result was a deserved one?
Yes very much so, on the whole for much of the game it remained competitive and I believe on balance we created more clear cut chances. Derby did create goalscoring opportunities, as would be expected of a Premier League side, but so did we - I was guilty of missing a couple!! Though definitely on reflection, we played very well and deserved the win.
You had a large and noisy Palace crowd following you, how good an occasion was it?
The crowd was our 12th woman. For many of the team it was the first time they have played under such an atmosphere. For me, being a bit more experienced, it added to the occasion and created that FA Cup atmosphere. All of the girls said that the crowd played a massive part in encouraging us, I do think they were quite intimidating for the opposition also.
Did you approach the match with confidence that you could win?
Yes, Dean (our manager), Rich and Ray (our coaches) and the rest of the support staff had told us during preparation that we had as much right as anybody to be in the position we were in and to not be daunted by the difference in league status. I think personally the difference was made during the half team talk which emphasised that we very much played ourselves in the game and it was our chance to go and win it, which i think spurred us on for the second half.
Now you will be at home to Portsmouth, do you and the team feel you can do it all over again?
We have to have confidence but not arrogance to do so. I think that most people involved in the women's game would have predicted that this little regional team is going to have their fun day out but lose. The result against Derby has given us the belief that we are good enough. Portsmouth are going to be a very different opposition, but as you know with cup games its what you put in for those 90 minutes and we will go into the game with that belief.
The last few years have not been great ones for Crystal Palace, is this the sort of result which suggests a much brighter future?
I have only started playing for Palace this season, but immediately I was impressed with the professionalism that runs through the whole club, so unfortunately I cannot comment on previous seasons. What I can say is that yes, from the outset, Dean and the club have very high but realistic aspirations for us girls and this is a step in the right direction as well as our focus on the league.
You are still well involved in the title race in your league, are there any concerns that the cup run might distract things from that?
Definitely not! As i said in my previous answer we have our target to win the league and that is very much still on the agenda for the whole team and management. This run in the FA Cup, as I see it, is reward for our hard work and effort that we are putting into training and games.
This week you are due to go to Westfield in the Surrey County Cup, weather permitting, will it be hard for the team to get their feet back on the ground?
No, we want to be as successful as we can in all the competitions that we are part of, we do not prioritise one thing over the other. Normal routine was resumed and we had training on Tuesday, yes of course there was a buzz at training, which only feeds well for the game on Sunday. However Dean is at hand to keep our feet firmly on the ground! He put us through our paces!
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