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Women's Football News
The New Saints took the headlines on Sunday with a 5-2 victory over Midlands Division One leaders Loughborough Foxes in the F.A.Women's Cup, taking the West Midlands League side through to the Second Round where they will face Derby County.
We talked to TNS defender Nicola Walford, who has been a part of the team's fantastic defensive record so far this season, and she told us that they will be full of confidence going into the next round as well as concentrating on their league title challenge:
Many congratulations on a great win, do you feel it was a result you merited?
Thank you! Yes I think we fully deserved the win as we were creating more chances and had most of the possession throughout the game. We were passing the ball around well and we were all comfortable on the ball which helped.
Loughborough Foxes are having a good season in the Premier League but were you confident of causing an upset ahead of the game?
Yes we were all confident as we are playing well as a team in the league, winning all seven games as well as getting to this stage of the FA Cup, beating Leafield 2-0 in the round before who are also in the same league as Loughborough, so as a team we were all confident of getting the win.
What do you think was the key to your victory, did anyone play well or was it a good all round team effort?
The key to our victory was because we all played well as a team. We all help each other on and off the ball. The team played well as a team from the goalkeeper right through to the strikers and the subs who came on showed the talent we have as a whole squad.
Now you have the chance to take on Derby County in the next round. Can you create another upset there?
Of course we can!! We beat Stoke City in a pre-season friendly and they are in Derby's league, Loughborough Foxes were on top of their league and this season we are confident of beating anyone. We will go into the game as underdogs but that will suit us as we will go out play our usual game and enjoy the occasion. As long as we play like we have been all season, we will be looking to cause another major upset in this season's FA Cup.
You have a fantastic defensive record this season in both league and cup, is it something that you have worked on?
We have been working on set pieces in our defence and it has certainly paid off. Our defence of Hannah, Kate and myself have been playing together for a number of seasons and all our hard work is showing on the field this season. It also helps having a goalkeeper behind you who we are all very confident with. We have only conceded three goals from open play this season, having played 13 matches including cup games so far.
This week you don't have a league game but play Wednesfield Town next week, presumably the league is the main priority for you?
The league is our priority but it is also a good experience for us all to be playing at this stage in the FA Cup. Our cup run has also generated a lot of local interest and we are expecting a larger than usual crowd for our home game against Derby County but promotion is our main aim and we would prefer to be playing every week rather than having free weeks to keep our momentum going.
Can you see your division staying as a two horse race between yourselves and B & WM Police for the rest of the season?
I think in all honesty it is looking like a two horse race between ourselves and B & WM Police. We have games in hand on them and we have yet to play them home and away. If we can be successful against B & WM Police and win our games in hand then promotion will be within our grasp.
What would Premier League football mean to your club if you are able to get there?
Premier League football would be a great challenge for our club and put us up there with the standard we believe we are capable of matching. This season we have a new management team of Joe and Wil and they have installed in us a belief and to have confidence in our ability which I think we have lacked in previous seasons. It would be a great test of our ability and strength to be playing Premier League clubs every week and to see what standard of football we can achieve.
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