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Women's Football News
Plymouth Argyle made their return to action following a lengthy break on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Queen's Park Rangers, which keeps them in line for at least a top half position in the Southern Premier Division in their first season following promotion.
We talked to Plymouth captain Katie Middleton, who was very pleased with the result after so many weeks of inactivity, and is setting her sights on challenging for a place in the top four or five which would represent a good season for the club:
WSS: Sunday was another good result for you from a see-saw match, was it a little nervy late on when you were one goal ahead?
KM: It was a great result after 4 weeks without a game and I felt like we were in total control of the match for long periods but it's always going to be a little nervy when you're only winning by one. In my opinion we probably should have scored more with the chances we created and the possession we had and the goals we conceded were through our own errors so it probably should have been more comfortable in the end.
WSS: What was it like to just be playing again after so many weeks without a match?
KM: To be honest, it was just nice to be back on the pitch with the girls. We've put in a lot of hard work at training over the last month and trialled different players in different positions, so it was good to be able to put that all into practice on the pitch on Sunday.
WSS: Since the first week in December you have only played four times, including one game in the League Cup, so how frustrating has it been in that respect?
KM: It's been very frustrating as we've struggled to get any sort of rhythm going. We had a really good result against Watford at home and we wanted to carry that on into the following week but unfortunately we weren't able to do that. Credit to the girls though because everyone has put it in a great shift at training and I think we've all kept our fitness levels high.
WSS: This week you are due to take the long, long trip to play away to C & K Basildon, how much is the team looking forward to that game?
KM: Everyone is looking forward to the game again at the weekend, it's one of our furthest away games so it allows us time to spend more time together and bond which is always nice. We're hoping we can kick on again from last weekend and get another good result.
WSS: Looking at your fixtures for the rest of the season though, the vast majority of them are at home. Do you feel that is a good thing, as you won't have so much travelling to do?
KM: I don't think any of us mind the travelling too much. When you play for Plymouth Argyle in this league, you know you're going to have to travel a long way for games and luckily we all get on quite well so don't mind spending lots of time together. Obviously having a run of home games will be nice as it allows our supporters to watch games too.
WSS: You have been without your main striker Natasha Knapman since the opening weeks of the season due to injury, how big a loss has she been?
KM: Everybody knows what a good player Tash is and obviously we've missed her scoring prowess this season. However, I think you have to give massive credit to the girls that have played out of position or been asked to do different jobs because they've worked hard, got on with it without moaning and we're not in the position we're in in the league by luck.
WSS: The win over QPR leaves you seven points off third place, with games in hand on the teams immediately above you. What do you think would be a realistic position for you to finish this season?
KM: As a club, we obviously have ambitions of finishing as high up the table as possible. For our first season in this league since being promoted, I think we've competed very well and if we were to finish in the top four or five then I personally think it will have been a very successful season.
WSS: It has been difficult surviving in this division for Plymouth in recent years due to being so far away from the other clubs they have had to play. Given this, would a top half finish be a great achievement if you can manage it?
KM: Due to our location, we have a much smaller pool of players to be able to select from and we rely quite a bit on girls travelling long distances even to get to training every week. However, with the commitment, enthusiasm and quality that we have in the squad now, I think we will probably be a little disappointed if we don't finish in the top half of the table. We certainly have the ability to do it so let's hope we can push on and get a good run of games under our belts now and we'll see where we finish at the end of the season.
Our thanks to Katie!
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