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Preston North End have been in excellent form in the FAWPL Northern Division in recent weeks and this has taken them into third place in the table.
Their latest result was a 4-1 victory over Guiseley AFC Vixens on Sunday and we talked to Preston defender Beth Stanfield, who feels that her team can keep up their challenge in what is proving to be a close title race:
WSS: That makes it six wins in seven league games for Preston, has there been a particular reason for such an upsurge in form?
BS: I think we've developed our game management and discipline over the past few weeks which has enabled us to be solid defensively and still score goals. In our first two games we were winning, but ended up throwing away the lead - but since then we've learnt and improved. New additions to the squad have upped the quality which we needed and everyone is feeling positive going into games, confidence is high at the moment.
WSS: You are now just three points off the pace, is there a growing belief that this can be your year?
BS: Yes definitely, our aim at the start of the season was to win the league and now that we've had such a good run of form and are close to the top, we know we can still achieve what we set out to do.
WSS: How much of a boost to the squad have the recent signings of Natasha Flint and Gemma Watson been?
BS: They've been a great addition to the squad, they bring a lot of quality and experience and now the competition for places is a lot tougher so this will only benefit us as a team.
WSS: Has Luke Swindlehurst made many changes since he took over as manager during the summer?
BS: We had quite a few changes to the squad and to staff to improve the club and get us challenging for the title. We also train twice a week now which has meant we have more time together to work on things and to get to know each other better, so they've been really positive changes.
WSS: How frustrating is it that you don't have any fixtures scheduled over the next couple of weeks?
BS: It is a bit frustrating because we wanted to keep the momentum and the good run going, but I'm sure we'll all be raring to go when it comes to the next game.
WSS: The Northern Division title race is shaping up to be a really close one, can you see it staying that way?
BS: Yeah, I think it will be close right until the end of the season because on their day anyone can beat anyone in this league, but hopefully we can keep our form going and be at the top of the table on the final day.
WSS: Do you feel now that the club is in a good shape to challenge for titles and aim for a higher level?
BS: Definitely, we've got a really good structure and set up to the club and we deserve to be challenging for league and cup titles and pushing for the higher levels.
Our thanks to Beth!
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