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Liverpool are finding their feet in the National Division after promotion and striker Cheryl Foster is confident that her side can prosper among the big guns this season. The Reds acquitted themselves well in a 3-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic on the opening day and picked up their first point in a 1-1 draw with Fulham last Sunday. "We knew what we were coming up against," Cheryl told Women's Soccer Scene. "There was nothing to be ashamed of in they way we played at Charlton as they are a great side but really we should have won against Fulham, we were very disappointed after having gone in front.
"Maybe we just lacked a little experience of keeping the lead, and need to relax in front of goal a bit more as we are a creative team and do make chances."
As for Liverpool's ambitions for this season, Cheryl reveals that there is a lot of determination to make their mark in the top flight. "Everyone knows that promoted teams are the favourites to go back down," she admits, "but we want to prove people wrong and stay up. We are looking at a mid-table position as a realistic aim, but mainly to play as we know we can. We're not scared of anyone.
"We have prepared so well for this season. During the summer we went on tour to Singapore and Ireland, played three games in each country and won all of them. The tour also helped us to gel together as we have near enough the same team as last season, so now we prepare for a battle and play every game the best we can."
Liverpool travel to Bristol City this Sunday and 23-year-old Cheryl is under no illusions about the importance of this match. "We've both come up this season, so it's going to be a six-pointer!" she laughs. "We'll go into the game in a positive frame of mind. I don't know too much about Bristol City but they are obviously good enough to be in the league, and as Southern Division Champions they deserve respect. In fact, it is as big a game as Arsenal against Charlton last week but for different reasons."
Last season, Liverpool won the Northern Division title with an undefeated record and Cheryl, quite rightly, is proud of that. "People write off the Northern Division a bit but it was a great feat, after all not many teams have done it," she says. "We're not used to losing, and don't like losing. We've only lost one league match in 18 months, and that was to a top side in Charlton."
The Welsh international joined Liverpool from Bangor City last season and scored 17 goals in their Championship campaign, missing the Golden Boot by just one. At the higher level, she admits that goalscoring chances will be fewer but points out: "I'm quite a confident player and the jump up hasn't surprised me. Now I treat every game as though it is an international!"
Cheryl is full of praise for Reds manager John Williams. "He's been fantastic for me," she adds, "all of the girls have got so much respect for him. He works so hard with Liverpool Football Club to get us things and we want to win every game for him. All of the coaching staff are brilliant, including Craig Boyd who is our First Team Coach, and we are so well prepared for every game."
So which of her team mates does Cheryl think will flourish in the National Division? "Gill Hart has been outstanding in the centre of midfield and has improved so much over the last few months. She was excellent against Fulham last week. Jo Traynor is a quality centre half, a great leader who I think will play for the full England team and we have two good young defenders - Beth Clark and Natalie Holt - who have shone in our last couple of games and have good futures."
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