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Women's Football News
Nottingham Forest have overturned a slow start to the season to become one of the league's form teams and on Sunday they produced one of the results of the day, winning 1-0 against previously unbeaten Burnley FC Women to lift themselves into third place in the Northern Premier Division table.
We talked to Forest midfielder Sophie Walton, who was delighted with her side's performance in achieving the win at Burnley and, looking ahead, insisted that there is more to come from the team during the season and plenty of time for them to force themselves into the title race:
WSS: Well done on a fantastic win on Sunday, was it as close a game as the scoreline suggests?
SW: Thank you! It was a huge win for us. Not necessarily no, they came out of the traps flying for the first 15 minutes or so and we just had to contain them and feel our way into the game, which we did, and I think after that we were pretty comfortable really and we should've had a few more notches on the scoresheet.
WSS:Were you under pressure late on or did you always feel comfortable while ahead, even during the later stages?
SW: No! We finished the game strong. They had a couple of breaks, which is expected when they were chasing the game but like I said before,.we felt really comfortable throughout the game and felt confident we weren't going to concede.
WSS: Precious Hamilton has been magnificent in front of goal for you this season and got the winner again on Sunday, how big a boost to the team is it to have a goalscorer like that?
SW: It's huge!! I've known Presh a long time and I don't think she's ever had enough credit for the player that she is. They say a team is only as good as your forwards and that's pretty true for us. You can have all the possession etc in the world but if you don't have anyone who can get on the end of it and put the ball in the back of the net, then all the hard work is pretty pointless. She is a huge player for us and if we can keep her healthy we will be right in the mix at the end of the season.
WSS: You started the season a little slowly but that is now six wins in seven league matches, do you feel that the team has really hit its stride now?
SW: We did! We had a short pre-season and the gaffer literally came in on the first day of pre-season, which wasn't ideal, so it took us a while to get going but that's football. We got our heads down and grafted on the training pitch, made a couple of tweaks tactically to ensure we turned our fortunes around and we haven't looked back since! We certainly have more to come, I think we've realised this and finally believe how good we can be so there is definitely more to come from us, but we are progressing nicely.
WSS: This week you play Notts County in the County Cup and don't actually play another league game until 8th December, is that a little frustrating or are you relishing the Cup ties ahead?
SW: I guess so! We understand these games are necessary, any silverware is important for the club so it's important we treat these games properly. They're a great chance to give some players game time which they deserve and allows the gaffer to freshen things up a bit. We want to win any game we play so we will approach the games as if they were league games and it's important we get the results.
WSS: The FA Cup draw this week has given you a local derby tie with Derby County. You beat them 1-0 in the league recently, how big an occasion is that match going to be?
SW: It's going to be absolutely massive. You couldn't have written it any better really. The game speaks for itself and then for it to be the FA Cup just adds even that extra bit of spice so it will be a great game for anyone to come and watch. We can't wait for the tie but we have a couple of games before then we will concentrate on first.
WSS: In the league right now, Sunderland have opened up a lead at the top but there are plenty of games to play yet. How confident are you that you can narrow the gap on them?
SW: Unfortunately we had a poor start to the season and given ourselves a little bit of catching up to do, but I believe in this team and I'm confident we can make the ground up come the end of the season. It's important we don't look too far ahead and just take each game as it comes but I certainly feel we can narrow the gap at the top with the quality we have in this squad.
WSS: Nottingham Forest have always been an ambitious club with aims to play at a higher level, how close do you feel the club is to realising its potential?
SW: Very close!! I've said before, I don't think at the beginning of the season the girls actually believed or realised the potential of what we could be. And especially how the season started, but I think after the results we have had recently, we have finally started to realise what we could be. We couldn't ask for anymore from the club off the pitch.. it's exciting times for everyone involved but it's important we do everything right and make sure we get the results on the pitch to enable us to push on. The club deserves to be higher and I am confident we can get the club where it belongs.
Our thanks to Sophie!
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