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Loving the pressure - Fran
 Women's Football News 15 Feb 2015
Loving the pressure - Fran - 15 Feb 2015 - Women's Football NewsDespite being on the losing side, Fran Kirby was still smiling following her Player of the Match performance in England's 1-0 defeat to the United States. 
"I really enjoyed it," she said. "I think it shows the progress we've made since the Germany game, even though we've only had this week to prepare. It's really nice to see we can compete against the big guns."
Fran was heavily involved in the game's most controversial moment, her initial shot having come back off the bar for Jodie Taylor to score, only to be ruled out by a poor offside decision.
"I was actually off celebrating thinking I had scored, before the ball actually went in the back of the net," she smiled. "It was a great save from the goalkeeper, she tipped it onto the bar. The rebound was called offside and I've heard people mention that it wasn't, so obviously the luck wasn't with us.
"I think America really struggled to break us down. Their play was aerial and they went out wide, which we were expecting because we were narrow, but it was great to see that they couldn't cut through us and didn't have a clear cut chance."
The Reading FC Women's striker performance was the latest in what has been an amazing six months and she admitted that she still hasn't quite taken it all in yet. "It's been a whirlwind - it's only this time last year that I got involved with the senior squad," she said. "Since then, I've been working hard and making sure I've been putting in the extra hours in training and in the gym, just making sure that I'm ready when I do come away.
"Each time I've come away on camp, I feel I've improved as a player and getting better and better so hopefully there are more things to come from me."
Fran played a role similar to that of Kelly Smith, who recently retired from international duty, and she revealed afterwards that the England legend had given her a huge pre-match boost.
"Kelly was an amazing player so, wearing her number 10 shirt today, I did feel a little bit of extra pressure going into the game but Kelly messaged me saying 'good luck, play well and enjoy yourself', so it was great to have that positive feedback from her. I'm just taking in the challenge and loving the pressure."
USA goalscorer Alex Morgan said that she was pleased with the result, coming on the back of a 2-0 defeat to France a few days earlier. "It's been a couple of games since we've seen a positive result, so it feels really good finishing off this tour with a win," she said. "England set themselves up well and were not easy to break down so it was good to get the result we wanted.
"We've got a week off and then we go to Portugal to get ready for the Algarve Cup and four more games. Hopefully we can get into the Final and play Germany or Japan, but we will take one game at a game.
"We are playing some really tough games to prepare for the World Cup and they are stepping stones to get to how we want to be by then."

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