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Carla Cantrell is confident that Leeds Carnegie can make great strides this season after victories in their opening two matches.
The in-form striker netted all four goals in her side's 4-0 victory against Bristol Academy on Sunday but admitted to Women's Soccer Scene after the game: "I think we were a little bit rusty in the first half.
"We knew that 1-0 would be a good result for us but we wanted a couple more goals to cement the result and get three points away from home."
Leeds were given the perfect start to the game when Carla put them in front after two minutes but it wasn't until the second half that they killed off the resistance of a battling Academy side. "It could have given us a boost to drive on and get more but it didn't happen in the first half," she said, "but we picked up in the second and that was pleasing.
"As the second half wore on, I think our fitness levels showed a little bit and they became a little tired. We just broke them down and it was good to get the goals in."
For Carla herself, the four-goal haul was undoubtedly welcome. "I was saying to the girls afterwards that I probably scored half as many goals as I did last season in one game!" she laughed. "It was good for my confidence to score plenty of goals.
"I think the fourth one was probably my favourite - I cut inside into the box and hit it into the top corner so I was pleased with that."
With two victories in two games under their belts, Leeds can look ahead to the season with confidence and Carla is also keen to point out another statistic they are proud of. "We've not conceded a goal yet and it's great to keep clean sheets," she said. "It's a pleasing start, we've just got to keep it going now.
"This season, realistically, I'd say a top three or four finish is what we are aiming for and I think we're very capable of achieving that.
"I've had a decent start to the season but I can't get complacent though. I've got to build and build and keep getting better - last season was a settling in one for me but this time I've got to prove myself in the league and become a decent striker for Leeds."
Leeds strengthened their squad during the summer and the likes of Jess Wright and Steph Houghton are on their way back from long term injuries. "There is more competition for the players and we've got a really strong bench this year," insists Carla. "We've got players coming back from injury and a couple of new signings such as Remi (Allen). Everyone knows you've got to fight for your place so if you don't perform on the pitch, you'll be sitting on the subs bench next game."
Carla is also forming a strike partnership with Ellen White and she is pleased with the way things are progressing after the former Chelsea striker missed most of last season through injury. "I'm really enjoying playing up front with Ellen, we've both got a good work rate and work well off each other and it can only get better as the season goes along," she said.
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