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Loyal Denise eyes a brighter future
 Women's Football News 12 Feb 2005
Tranmere Rovers are hoping to regain some lost prestige after a difficult 18 months but this Sunday they will be battling for a place in the semi finals of the F.A.Women's Cup when they take on Bristol Rovers. The Birkenhead side are currently at the bottom of the Northern Division after a run of narrow defeats but they have enjoyed a good Cup run to date and captain Denise Campbell is confident that they can build on this run and turn their fortunes around in the league. "The cup run has been great and we've all enjoyed it, but it's not that important when compared to the league," she told Women's Soccer Scene. "We seem to play with a lot more freedom in the Cup, we know we've got to win the league games and that makes the girls more tense. We're not playing badly at all, but we keep giving away silly goals at vital times during games. We started well in the league, beating Coventry 5-0 but we lost our next seven games and the team's confidence dropped."
But attentions will be focused on Sunday and the task of facing Bristol Rovers, who will start off as clear favourites. "I'm quite looking forward to it," admits Denise. "We've got to work hard. I've played against Bristol Rovers before and they are a good, physical team but if we play like we did against Millwall we will do alright against them.
"We've played well in the Cup this year and picked up some good wins. We did okay against Aston Villa and Langford, and played really well against Millwall in the last round, it all came together. Now I hope we can take our good Cup form into the league."
Denise has played in two F.A.Cup semi finals and one Premier League Cup Final during her time at Tranmere but the club has lost a number of key players in recent times and were relegated from the National Division last season. "We've lost players but I decided to stay loyal to the club as I have been here for years," says Denise. "We've got some good young players in the reserves but they are not quite ready to make the step up as yet and the future can be bright."
So who are the key players for the game with Bristol Rovers, and in their battle to stay up? "Sue Kenwright is a good player that has done really well, she scores most of our goals for us. Rachel Rigby is a good, fast player who can only get better but, to be fair, the rest of the team always gives 100% effort in every match,"she replies.
"I don't think we are going to go down. We do have games in hand and some big matches coming up - I can't see us getting into mid-table but I think we'll finish just outside the bottom two. Then hopefully, next season we can push back up the league and challenge for promotion again.
"I want to go back to the Premiership with Tranmere, and it is not out of the question. We just need a couple of experienced players to play with the youngsters that are coming through and things should then be really different."
If anyone deserves success at Tranmere, surely it is Denise Campbell.

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