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Women's Football News
Charlton Athletic reached the semi finals of the Premier League Cup on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.
We talked to Charlton midfielder and captain Kim Dixson, who described the win at Brighton as a 'big result' and looked ahead to this week's F.A.Women's Cup tie against Crystal Palace, whilst not ruling her side out of the Southern Division title race:
How high amongst your results this season would you put your win on Sunday?
The win on Sunday is right up there for me having only just got back playing this year since my ACL injury. I would say it is a big result for the team as well. Going into the game I feel we were the underdogs, it being at Brighton's new training ground and the score last time we played them away from home. So to win 2-0 and to keep a clean sheet against Brighton, who have scored a lot of goals this season, is a great confidence booster for everyone in the team.
Did it feel as though the team who scored first was likely to go on and win the game?
We both had chances in the first half, they probably had the best chances but going in at 0-0 was very important for us because we knew we had more to give. In previous games against them, the team that has scored first went on to comfortably win in the end. I feel the timing of the goals was very important for us, we got an early one in the second half which probably changed Brighton's game plan, then the second came at a good time just as Brighton looked to try get back into the game. We also had great chances to make the game more comfortable but proud of our performance on the day.
Was there any difficulty in your preparations for the Brighton game under a caretaker manager or was the team not affected?
I would say it didn't affect us. It brought the team together more in all honestly and made us want to work and fight for each other more. At the end of the day we knew it was down to us on the pitch and knew we had the talent to do it, it was just showing we can. We had a game plan and made sure everyone knew their roles and jobs within the team. The training during the week was really good and we knew everyone was up for the game seeing their attitude and application in training.
Now you have a semi final against Cardiff, that should be a great game when it happens?
Our two games against Cardiff this season have been thrillers and we have conceded first in both and had to make a comeback. So yes it will be a great game with both teams wanting to get to the final I'm sure. Hopefully we don't have to make a comeback this time and make it difficult for ourselves!
Not only is it a semi final match but it is also being played at The Valley, how big an incentive is that for the team?
It is massive. We have played friendlies at The Valley before but this will be the first women's competitive game since 2003 at The Valley so it's a big deal for the club. I am sure nearer the time the girls will be buzzing about playing there and will want to get to our third cup final of the season. We haven't got this far in this competition for a while now and we will really want to get to the final to show how far we have come this season. It will also be a good show case for women's football with two teams that want to play football on a great pitch. We are hoping we will have a lot of fans there on the day. I'm sure Cardiff won't want to come to The Valley and just roll over so I'm expecting a tough and competitive game.
This Sunday, you have another Cup tie with Crystal Palace but this time you will be favourites, will this be a completely different kind of match?
We can't go into the game thinking we are favourites. We need to have the same attitude and work rate we had against Brighton. I'm sure Palace will be thinking they have a second chance in this competition and will want to do well also.
It is also a local derby match, how big an incentive is that for the team?
For me being a lifelong Charlton fan, it is always great beating a local rival. Most of the girls will just see it as another game and hopefully we will get another good win to put us in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup. This is a great opportunity for us to go further in this cup which we haven't done for a long time. I'm sure Palace will be very competitive but we will stick to our game plan and work hard to get through to the next round where we could draw a WSL side.
You have a little bit of ground to make up in the league but do you still feel you can make a title challenge?
Well we haven't played a league game since December! Actually, I haven't played a league game since I have been back from my injury. We just need to continue our current form in winning games and I'm sure we can close the gap. The pressure's not on us now, it's on the three teams above. We won't rule it out but will take each game as it comes, get as many points as we can and hope that teams around us drop points. All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and believe we can challenge for the title.
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