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Women's Football News
Hull City pulled off the best result of the round in the Premier League Cup when beating Preston North End 2-1 on Sunday.
The Premier League newcomers have also started well and currently lie second in Northern Division One, before knocking out higher division opponents in the cup.
We talked to Hull captain Stacey Hubbard who gave us a glowing endorsement of the game against Preston, as well as insisting that her team can build on their good start and maintain a promotion challenge:
WSS: Is that as good a win as the club has achieved, against a side of the quality of Preston?
SH: As a club we thrive on playing higher opposition to test ourselves to see how far off we are. Preston were a well drilled and organised team and I enjoyed playing against them as they play very similar to ourselves, keeping the ball down and playing around the field with both sides creating good chances throughout the game. The game was a great spectacle for women's football.
WSS: Were the last few minutes of the match tense, were you hanging on at any stage?
SH: It was very tense once we got the equaliser with just over five minutes remaining, both teams pushing for the win, the crowd getting louder and when Rebecca Beech took a ball down from a perfect cross from Rachael Cooke to slot in the corner I knew Preston were going to throw everything at us, and they sure did, with them having a late chance at the end, but our defence stood strong putting bodies on the line to see out the win. I definitely didn't want extra-time, I think they would have probably pipped us on the fitness side of things if it had done.
WSS: What do you think a victory like that can do for the team's confidence?
SH: It brings more togetherness within the team, as everyone is on a high all week at training and it gives us great confidence that we can match higher opposition and reminds us that we can do it! We are sitting in a good position in the league, and naturally promotion is something we are aiming for this season, so to beat a team in the higher league will certainly help us going into the next league match.
WSS: Is there anyone in particular you would like to meet in the next round of the League Cup?
SH: We just take each game as it comes, but we do prefer higher league opposition as we seem to lift our game. On some occasions this season we have dropped in form and not been consistent enough with our performance due to whatever reason, which has cost us points in the league this year.
WSS: This week is it the turn of the FA Cup and a tie with Tranmere Rovers, do you think a cup run would be important for the club?
SH: We love taking part in the FA Cup and playing teams from different leagues, it is a prestigious cup competition to be part of. Last season we made club history by reaching the furthest the club has ever got in the competition, so this year we are trying to go even further.
WSS: Has the club's good start to the season exceeded your expectations so far?
SH: Definitely, especially with us having six first team regulars out of the squad from the start of the season due to injury or other circumstances. I thought it would have taken us time to adjust and I would have thought a top four finish would be a successful first season for us, but we seemed to have relished in the challenge and are sitting comfortably in the league and I now think we are contenders for the league title. A lot of praise must go to the new players who have come in, a lot of them are only 16, but they seem to have matured quickly and not looked out of place in the women's game.
WSS: Are you therefore confident that the team can sustain a promotion challenge this season?
SH: We have a fantastic manager, who gives an incredible amount of time with man management to ensure we only have to focus on the playing side of things, with great experienced coaches and staff behind the scenes too. We have a brilliant set up, which is growing slowly but surely and with the talent of players ranging from 16 to 30, we have a good mix of youth and experience. We are enjoying our football, which shows on the field and it's a great club to be a part of. We all want the same thing and that is promotion, so will try our best to achieve that. Especially knowing we can now mix it with the Premier League teams!
Our thanks to Stacey!
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