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Plymouth Argyle have had an excellent year and rounded it off on Sunday by claiming a higher division scalp in the Premier League Cup, winning 2-1 away to Cardiff City Ladies who have a fine record in the competition in recent seasons.
We talked to Plymouth midfielder Zoe Cunningham, who was pleased with the win against Cardiff and looked ahead to making as much progress as they can in three major competitions in the New Year:
WSS: Congratulations on another fine win in the cup on Sunday, how tough a match was it for you?
ZC: Thank you! It was a very tough match and we expected that going into the game. I think we made it difficult for ourselves at times, especially in the last 20 minutes. However, every player gave it 100% throughout the 90 minutes and that's what gave us the edge over Cardiff in the end.
WSS: Having already beaten Chichester and Gillingham from a higher level this season, did that give the team extra confidence going into the game?
ZC: Yes, I think both of those wins gave us extra confidence. In our league games I think the pressure is on us as we've shown with our results that our aim is to win the league, so it's been nice going into cup games where the pressure is off us a little, but still showing that we can compete at a higher level.
WSS: The win keeps up the team's 100% record in all competitions so far this season, could you have envisaged this kind of run when the campaign began?
ZC: Our pre-season results set the bar for us. As a team, from the start our goal has been to win every game and ultimately win promotion. I can't say we knew we were going to get to this point of the season unbeaten, because we knew it wouldn't be easy. However as I said, it was definitely our aim and we are all very pleased to be going into the new year unbeaten.
WSS: This also rounds off what has been an excellent 2017 for Plymouth Argyle, what do you think has been the main factor in the club's excellent run?
ZC: I couldn't put it down to one thing. I think the commitment and effort all round, players, coaches, supporters and everybody behind the scenes is what is making this season successful so far!
WSS: Natasha Knapman has obviously taken a lot of the headlines for her goals but it has been an all round team effort so far, hasn't it?
ZC: I've said it before that Tash is a natural goalscorer and is well worthy of taking the headlines! But it is definitely an all round effort. Every single player in the squad has played a key part in getting us to where we are now.
WSS: When you resume after the holiday break, you face a long trip to Fylde in the FA Cup. After travelling to Gillingham in the previous round, the draw has not been kind to you, but how much are the team looking forward to that game?
ZC: We are really pleased to have made it to the Third Round of the FA Cup. We are looking forward to playing against Fylde. It will be another tough game I'm sure, but we will give it our all as always. To be honest we love an away trip! They are always good fun. It gives us bonding time and we all enjoy a good sing along, so the long trip doesn't bother us too much!
WSS: You are also locked in a close title race in the league, can you see the two games with Southampton and return match with Keynsham being the key ones?
ZC: Every game we play is key. We know we have to go into every game with the same mindset and that is to get the win. We do not underestimate any of the teams we play against. We just focus on what we are doing and take it game by game.
WSS: Plymouth have never quite been able to successfully bridge the gap after winning promotion in the past, do you feel that things could be a lot different this time if you can go up?
ZC: I am confident that we would be able to bridge the gap if we win promotion this season. I think our results so far have shown we have the ability. Again we know it wouldn't be easy but if we keep working hard then I don't see why we couldn't.
Our thanks to Zoe!
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