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Women's Football News
Charlton Athletic produced a stunning result on Sunday when they defeated reigning Southern Division Champions Portsmouth 4-1 on their own ground.
We talked to Charlton defender Grace Coombs, currently out with an injury, and she described the display as the best of their season so far and admitted that the players are very determined to build on their Premier League Cup success at the end of last season:
WSS: Congratulations on a great result on Sunday, was that as good a performance as this team has produced?
GC: I have been injured for the beginning of the season but I have managed to see most of the games and think it was definitely our best performance of the season so far. Everyone worked hard for each other and did their individual jobs and we were rewarded for this with the result. We knew it was going to be a very hard game as Portsmouth are one of, if not the, strongest team in the league, but the girls prepared well in training and were rewarded for all the hard work they and the staff have put in throughout the season so far.
WSS: This completes a good week after wins against C & K Basildon and Tottenham, do you think the team is gathering momentum now?
GC: Yeah I think so, the last week has seen us produce very professional performances that have got us nine very big points as they were all against good sides. The girls were disappointed to start the season off with two draws, so the recent run of consecutive wins has definitely given us confidence for the upcoming games. The longer we can keep our unbeaten start going the more momentum we will gather which will only help us later on in the season.
WSS: Aside from results, are you happy with the way the team has been playing so far this season?
GC: Everyone was really disappointed with our first performance against C & K Basildon as we wanted to start the season strongly, but since then we have put in some very good performances, especially against title rivals Brighton and Portsmouth. We have set high standards for ourselves after our success last season so we are quite critical of our performances, even when we get three points. In some games this season we know our performances should have been better, but we have stuck together as a group and ground out results, which is something we sometimes struggled with last season. If we can continue to do this during the season we will pick up more points and give ourselves the best chance of winning the league come the end of the season.
WSS: This week you have another important trip to Cardiff, do you see this as another big test for the team?
GC: It will be a massive test for us, Cardiff are a very strong team with a lot of experience. We had four very tough games against them last season so we all know how hard it will be, especially with the game being away from home. Every game in this league is tough but we know if we train well during the week and have a performance like last week we will give ourselves every opportunity to come away with all three points.
WSS: Did you feel that a good start was particularly important this season, after what happened last year?
GC: A good start is something that we spoke about throughout pre-season as we know from last time how this can play a part in the standings come the end of the season. We dropped some points early in the season last year, which then meant we were always chasing the teams above us, which is not a position you want to be in! Overall we have been happy with how we have started this year as we have had some very testing games so far and our performances and results have given us a lot of confidence now going in to every game.
WSS: After winning the League Cup, has this given the team a taste of silverware and made them hungry for more?
GC: Yeah definitely! Winning the League Cup was the highlight for all of us last season as we beat some of the best teams in the country and put in some our best performances of the season in the process. We all want to experience the same feeling this year in as many competitions as possible. It has also made everyone hungry to go one step further and win the league this season, which is our main aim. It will be tough, but the Cup win last year has given us all confidence that we can do that.
WSS: The title race is shaping up to be a close one, can you see it staying that way throughout the season?
GC: It will be close throughout the whole season and I think it will go down to the wire again. There are a lot of very strong teams in the league this year and I think all the teams at the top will take points off each other and it will make the league very unpredictable all season. We just need to make sure we keep on getting our points so that we can be one of those teams at the end of the season fighting for the title.
Our thanks to Grace!
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