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Tranmere Rovers completed a successful battle against relegation on Sunday when they beat Chester-le-Street 6-2 to secure their place in Northern Division One next season.
We talked to Tranmere midfielder Faye Jones, who admitted that it had been a tough few weeks for the Birkenhead side who needed to play twelve league games from the beginning of April whilst clawing back a gap on the teams above them:
WSS: Congratulations on your successful fight against survival, what is your biggest emotion on staying up - delight or relief?
FJ: We obviously feel happy to have stayed up, but also extremely relieved! I don't think anybody ever believed we deserved to go down, but unfortunately we found ourselves in that position due to lots of reasons. A massive break in the season because of the weather, having to find a new home pitch just before Christmas, and playing so many games in such a short space of time did not help us at all, and we struggled to find any consistency. But, we managed to get the job done and that's the main thing! The girls are all made up.
WSS: Even though you had matters in your hands before the Chester-le-Street game, were there nerves amongst the team?
FJ: Yes, there were nerves amongst the team, and I think that was only natural. A lot of the players had never been in that situation before so it was hard, but everyone pulled together when it mattered which is the main thing.
WSS: Three wins in your last four games, has the team been showing its best form in the last few matches?
FJ: I think we have just taken our chances when it has really mattered. Throughout the season we have played games where we have played really well as a team, but just haven't been able to take our chances and score. Again, the stop-start season we have had hasn't helped us at all, so trying to find any sort of form has been hard. We played some good football towards the end of the season.
WSS: You have had to play twelve matches since the beginning of April, how tough has it been after falling so far behind with your fixtures?
FJ: Very! We don't have a huge squad, and when you are playing so many games in such a short space of time, it really tests everyone. You have less and less time to recover after any small knocks or injuries, which then sometimes become worse. It has been hard, but everyone pulled together when it really mattered and we just got on with it.
WSS: Rachel Rigby had a great day on Sunday and Charlotte Cloy has also done well, how important have their goals been for the team?
FJ: Charlotte has scored some really good goals for us this season. She is a player who can get you a goal out of nothing, and we haven't had any players like this for a while. Rachel was unfortunately injured towards the start of the season, after playing for the army, and we really missed her. However she certainly has found some form right at the end of the season, and has done really well. Hard work and determination has played a massive part in the team staying up.
WSS: How important do you feel it was for Tranmere Rovers to stay up this season?
FJ: Nobody ever wants to get relegated, and we are no different. Staying in the FA WPL is vital for us, as we work to bring our younger players through our teams so that they have something to aim for.
WSS: Tranmere have a very good history in the women's game, are you confident that the good times can return to the club in the future?
FJ: At the minute, we have great support from the football club which is fantastic. We always aim high, and hopefully with the backing of the club, the efforts of all of our players, and hard work helping develop our youth teams we can go far.
Our thanks to Faye!
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