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Derby County kept themselves in the running for the runners-up spot in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division with a fine 2-0 victory over fellow contenders Middlesbrough on Sunday.
We talked to Derby's record goalscorer Cara Newton, who was delighted with the team's performance against Middlesbrough and also with the way the season has gone for Derby as a whole:
WSS: That was a very good win for you on Sunday against an in-form Middlesbrough side, do you feel that was one of the team's best performances so far this season?
CN: It was a great result and definitely one of the best performances so far. At such a crucial stage in our season it's important we continue to work hard in training and finish the season as high as possible.
WSS: Did you feel that the game was safe once Jodie Redgrave scored the second goal?
CN: I felt like we had control of the game but the three points are never safe until the final whistle. We had to play like it was 0-0 and want that next goal to be ours, we finished the game strong and defended well all over the field.
WSS: This result, along with Sunderland's defeat to Huddersfield, puts you right back in the running for the runners-up spot, so presumably that made it a good day all round?
CN: Absolutely! It's important we focus on our own results and with us having Huddersfield this weekend, we don't want to feel the same as Sunderland did on Sunday.
WSS: As you mentioned, this week is a crunch match regarding the chase for second place when you play Huddersfield, so do you see this game as the proverbial ‘six pointer'?
CN: Second place is definitely possible and we want to finish our games with maximum points possible. Huddersfield beat us 3-2 away from home and were a very strong team, so we know it's not going to be easy.
WSS: With Middlesbrough running out of games, do you think realistically you are battling against Sunderland and Huddersfield?
CN: I'd like to think we helped that by beating Middlesbrough at the weekend but the season isn't over yet! We still have three massive games and we have to focus on our own results and hope they will be enough, instead of relying on other results.
WSS: Overall, how do you feel the season has gone for Derby County?
CN: I think it's been a great season so far. With a lot of new players and management, I don't think anyone expected a season as good as it has been. At the moment there's a good feel in the team and club, but the only way that remains is by getting good results.
WSS: The club is an ambitious one, how confident are you that you can build on this season's efforts to be title contenders next time around?
CN: We will want to improve and finish higher than we do this season, so absolutely. Our team is physically fitter and stronger than we were at the start so we will only continue to get better.
WSS: Blackburn have dominated this division for the last three years but they are likely to be WSL-bound for next season, so can you see the league becoming a very tight one next time around?
CN: When you look at the league now and how tight it is for second and third place, of course. Blackburn fully deserve their place in WSL but hopefully now it will open up the league and make it a very exciting season!
Our thanks to Cara!
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