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Women's Football News
Portsmouth captain Stacey Niven is quietly confident that her team can acquit themselves well against National Division opposition in the Fourth Round of the F.A.Women's Cup on Sunday.
Pompey have landed a plum home draw against Liverpool and Stacey told Women's Soccer Scene that her team are eager to test themselves against the top flight side. "The whole team has a good atmosphere," says Stacey. "It is a rare chance for us to play against a Premiership team and, the way we are playing, we are hoping to make progress."
Portsmouth are having a good season in the Southern Division and appear to be the main challengers to runaway leaders Chelsea but Stacey feels they have not yet reached their full potential. "I think we can still do better," she admits. "Everyone is playing well and we are high in the table but there is still more to come from us. The better the teams we play against, the more experience it will give us and Sunday's game can only help."
Last season, Pompey reached the same stage of the competition before being knocked out by eventual finalists Charlton Athletic. Stacey is sure that her team can draw on those experiences and take them into the Liverpool match. "We are a lot more confident for this game than the Charlton match last year and I think we are a better side now than we were then.
"The whole team has been playing well. I don't really want to pick anyone out in particular as it has been a real team effort all season, both training and matches have been fun. We have a lot more confidence after a difficult time last season and we're enjoying our football. Our manager Vanessa Raynbird and her coaching staff are all brilliant and she has given so much to us.
"Liverpool are a division above us and it is bound to be a tough match. It should be a good game, and I am confident that we will give them a good game."
Looking beyond Sunday's game, Portsmouth are still in with a chance of winning the Southern Division but can they catch up ground on Chelsea? "I don't know if we can," admits Stacey, "we have lost twice to Chelsea and that won't have helped. We've drawn a lot of games but have picked up a lot recently and are on a good run. We're all just happy to carry on the way we have been playing, and finish as high we can."
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