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Women's Football News
Portsmouth made it through to the Fourth Round of the F.A.Women's Cup on Sunday by getting the better of Blackburn Rovers in a nine-goal thriller.
We talked to Pompey goalkeeper Sadie Blakely who was magnanimous in victory whilst admitting that the players have a strong desire to repeat last year's tremendous Cup run when they reached the quarter finals:
5-4 sounds like it was some match to watch. What was it like to play in?
Yeah, definitely a game to watch but it was very high tempo to be in, even for me as a goalkeeper! It was very end to end stuff, definitely a game which will stick in my head for a while.
You led at all times during the game, did you always feel as though you were in control of matters?
We went 1-0 up very early and thought it was great to get the goal then, but Blackburn pressed heavily and replied not too long after. After 25mins it was 2-2 and definitely at 5-3, I thought we were in control, but we have to give big credit to Blackburn as they kept going and didn't let us take control for long periods. I would say that both teams really took control at different parts of the game.
How big a boost to the team has the form of Ini Umatong been in recent weeks?
Yes, a big boost and any player coming in with that instant effect is definitely a lift for the team, Ini is a great player to have on the pitch and off. She has fit straight into the team mentality, she is a big character with her dancing and is always hungry!
Now you will be at home in the next round to either Millwall Lionesses or Lowestoft Town, are you expecting a tough challenge whichever side you face?
It's the FA Cup so every game is tough. We played Millwall in a friendly at the start of the season and beat them 3-1 but I don't think for any second it will be the same game, they now have a new manager and several new players since the last time we played them. As for Lowestoft, they are not still in the FA Cup for any old reason, it's because they have beaten good teams to get there, so we have got to give them credit and respect them for that. So any team we get from these two we be a challenge and I feel at the moment Portsmouth Ladies are up for that.
After your run in the cup last season, are you determined to at least try and match that run this time around?
Last year was amazing and we made club history and because of that FA Cup run, I feel it put belief in every player, coach and fan at the club. It not just showed everyone that Pompey can mix with the big clubs, it also shows what players at our club can do and achieve. So yes, we would definitely love to do the same or even better and go further but it will be tough.
This week you have another cup tie at Nottingham Forest, is this tournament you feel you have a realistic chance of winning?
The League Cup is something Pompey has never really done well in. We did reach the semi final a couple of seasons ago against Aston Villa but lost 3-1. I definitely feel this is a cup that we should take seriously and the final is where I feel we should be with the players, coach and people we have at the club. So I am taking this cup as seriously as the league.
Presumably the league is your number one priority though, is there any concern at the number of cup games you are playing or do you see it as a bonus?
Yeah the league is our big priority at our club but as a player you want to do your best in every cup competition as well. We play every game, league or cup, as if it's a final so I just feel these games are the ones that put our club on the map and get Pompey noticed. We not a big club financially but with big things happening now off the pitch, these good cup runs and fighting for the league title is helping in our bid to reach the top. So I feel these cup games are not a concern as we now have good depth in our squad and we want to show that the cups are taken as seriously as the league campaign.
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