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Women's Football News
Nuneaton Town greatly boosted their chances of survival in the Northern Division with a 1-0 victory over Derby County on Sunday.
We talked to Nuneaton defender Alice Belcher, who described the win against high flying Derby as their best of the season as well as drawing on the experiences of last season's successful survival battle:
WSS: Would you say that Sunday's result was your best of the season so far?
AB: I would say so, yes. Derby are the highest positioned team we have beaten so far, so it was a big confidence boost for us.
WSS: Did you feel it was a deserved result overall?
AB: I think the game was fairly even, with both keepers pulling off good saves. Fortunately though, Natalie Dean - on her debut - managed to pull off a sweet strike into the corner for us to take all three points.
WSS: Do you think has there been a particular reason for the improvement in form and results recently?
AB: It was well publicised that Ryan Conneely left the post as manager in January to take up an opportunity in America. His brother, Joe took over and the first thing he said to us is "I'm not Ryan". He has come in with his own ideas, tweaked a few things and the team has responded well to the change.
WSS: Although you lost the game, did the game against leaders Preston recently give the team confidence?
AB: Preston was certainly a confidence boost, as well as being heartbreaking to lose in the last minute of the game. However, six weeks before, we had lost 13-0 to them, and to reduce that to a last minute shot that flew into the roof of the net just showed how far we had come in a short period of time.
WSS: This week you play away to Stoke City, do you see this as a game with less pressure given the league positions?
AB: We are definitely going in as underdogs but we don't see this as a reason not to give an equally good performance as we did against high fliers Preston. We know Stoke will be very physical all around the pitch, but hopefully if we show the same heart and desire as we have been, maybe we could pull off a shock result.
WSS: You still have to play Guiseley twice as well as Newcastle before the end of the season, do you think these games might be pivotal in your battle to stay up?
AB: Guiseley, Newcastle and Huddersfield are all games that we have targeted that we need get something out of. The Guiseley games are critical as they are the team below us at the moment, however if we can pick up extra points along the way it will only help us.
WSS: The team finished last season in great form to pull away from relegation, can you draw inspiration from that?
AB: Yes, at the end of the last season we hit some great form. I think the experience from last season means we are not panicking about our position. We were probably in a worse position last season and a few people had us written off. We know if we remain calm and play like we have been the last few weeks, then hopefully we will still be a Premier League side come next season.
Our thanks to Alice!
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