Brighton & Hove Albion defender Laura Rafferty says that the team can take a lot of confidence from yesterday’s 2-0 victory against Liverpool into an important next couple of matches.
The defender scored her first goal of the season in the win, but credited her team mate Ini Umotong for her initial strike which hit the crossbar before falling to the feet of Rafferty.
She said, “This win has given us a big lift. We knew we needed a bit of luck and that luck came in this match and the performance from the girls was brilliant, so it was definitely deserved.
“It’s my first goal this season and I’m really happy to have got on the scoresheet. It’s a great way to start the year and puts us on a high.
“I also have to credit Ini [Umotong] for the goal, as she went for the initial shot. It was fortunate for me to be in the right place at the right time but it’s definitely something that I will take and enjoy.”
As much as she enjoyed her goal, the Northern Ireland international emphasised the importance of keeping their first clean sheet of the season.
“Going into the New Year, my main target personally was to keep more clean sheets. It’s a long season and if you keep clean sheets, you pick up points.
“I’m really proud of everyone on the pitch today for us to be able to do that. It wasn’t just the defensive unit and the goalkeeper, it was everyone.
“Whether that was pressing from the front and the defensive unit were all great and limited the chances Liverpool could create.”
Rafferty also spoke about the belief they can take into their next couple of matches, firstly against Manchester City in the FA Continental Tyres Cup and a crunch match against Everton in the FA Women’s Super League.
“The result is massive and it will give us a big lift to kick-on. We kept a lot of the ball and played out from difficult positions, which gave us a lot of self-belief and that is really big for us going forward.
“We’ve now got two big games coming up, Thursday [against Manchester City] where we can try to practise that even more and then more so on Sunday [against Everton].
“We’ll take every ounce of confidence with every game that and we’re excited for the next one.”