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Birmingham & West Midlands gave their challenge for a top two place in FAWNL Division One Midlands a huge boost with a 3-1 win away to second placed Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
We talked BWM vice captain Ashlea Hargreaves, who praised the management team for the performance in winning against Wolves but admitted that they are taking nothing for granted as they aim to finish as high as they can:
WSS: Congratulations on an impressive win on Sunday, is that one of your best performances of the season so far?
AH: Absolutely. I feel as though it has highlighted how far we've come as a team this season. I believe the majority of that is down to the management staff and how they've implemented this season's programme. Obviously this has required dedication and adherence from the girls in which everyone has been fully on board.
WSS: Wolves hadn't conceded a goal at home in the league, let alone lost a game. Does that put into perspective just what a good result this was?
AH: That's interesting and a fact I wasn't aware of! I can see why as they're a strong defensive side. Marcus changed the formation at half time which created some really good chances and our patient build up play eventually paid off.
WSS: Did you feel that the game was won when you scored the third goal?
AH: I'm not going to lie - I did breathe a heavy sigh of relief! Wolves were starting to threaten and we had to ride a decent amount of pressure, especially with the addition of Jade Cross into the picture. We're lucky in the fact we have talented players, like Evie Gallop, who possess that ability to dribble past 4/5 players and finish as she did.
WSS: That makes it six wins in seven matches, is the run mainly down to confidence or has there been another big factor behind the team's good form?
AH: I think we've got a really good positive mentality within the group at the moment. This is a big transition season for us with the addition of the university girls and we've got some great characters in the club. We've got to give massive credit to the infrastructure that the likes of Helen Carver (general manager) has installed over the years to enforce high standards in all aspects of the club which promotes that winning mentality.
WSS: After a week's break, you return to action next week with a trip to The New Saints, what kind of game are you expecting there?
AH: I don't think we can take any game for granted in this league. Since their addition to the league, TNS have always proved to be a good opposition. It will be a good test of character and hopefully we can build on our recent run of form.
WSS: The Wolves win has done your chances of finishing runners-up a power of good, do you think that you would need to win virtually all of your remaining games if you wanted to finish in second place?
AH: I think its sensible to take each game as it comes as different opposite pose a different threat. It will no doubt be an exciting finish to what's been a brilliant season for us. But it's important to take each game as it comes and focus on the task in hand each particular week.
WSS: Realistically, do you think that West Bromwich Albion are now well on their way to the title or do you still think they can be caught?
AH: They've been a consistently strong side throughout the season. It's our job to stay focused on our performances in order for us to finish in the best possible league position.
Our thanks to Ashlea!
Photo by Mark Birchill Photography
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