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After finishing as runners-up in the Northern Division last season, Middlesbrough have started very well this time around and their sixth straight league victory, against Stoke City on Sunday, took them four points clear at the top of the table.
We talked to Middlesbrough goalkeeper Laura Wareham who told us that the atmosphere in the squad is "extremely positive" but that they are not getting carried away with how things have been going:
WSS: That was a good win on Sunday against Stoke, would you say it was one of the team's best displays so far?
LW: Yes, it was really good to take all three points and even better, a clean sheet against a very strong, physical side like Stoke. However, the team had been working on our game plan all week and I think everyone knew their own role and responsibility and we gave everything to achieve our overall outcome!
WSS: Six league wins in a row now, seven in all, what, if anything, was changed after the defeat in the opening game?
LW: We had a few players away on international duty that game and some on holiday, so it probably wasn't the most ideal start for us. A lot of factors had an impact on that game and I feel as a team it was a learning curve for us all. We have collectively worked really hard in training with the coaches and the atmosphere in the camp is very good!
WSS: Do you feel that the team is hitting its best form now?
LW: Yes, 7 wins out of 8 shows that we have taken a lot from the first game. With the team being so young, I think we are all learning each game. We are all trying to implement our ILPs within our own game and I feel it is highlighted in the overall team performance. Again, the atmosphere in the camp is extremely positive and we are on a roll!
WSS: This week you play Huddersfield who you narrowly beat 1-0 a couple of weeks ago, are you anticipating another close game this time?
LW: Obviously we are going into Sunday knowing that Huddersfield will be a difficult game. However, we have worked really hard on our game plan to hopefully ensure we take all three points on Sunday.
WSS: You did really well last season, finishing runners-up in your first season after promotion, is there a feeling amongst the team that you can go one better this time around?
LW: It would be unbelievable for us to improve on our season last year. We are working really hard collectively to implement different styles of play to enable us to pick up more points and improve on factors that we learnt from last year. We take each game as it comes and gaining three points each Sunday is our main priority.
WSS: Who do you see as being the main rivals in the title race this season?
LW: That would be difficult to answer as I think there are numerous teams who could push for the title! However I would say Blackburn after their success last season!
WSS: Middlesbrough have made big steps in recent seasons to become one of the top teams in the Premier League, what do you think is the main reason behind this?
LW: The manager has worked very hard and made numerous changes within the club to make it a more professional environment for us to play in. We have new coaching staff and have made numerous signings to strengthen the depth of our squad. We have a solid link with Teesside RTC and primarily the success of Middlesbrough is probably down to the hard work from the staff. The club is now recognized and it's fantastic to know that we have a very good reputation.
Our thanks to Laura!
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