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Women's Football News
Helen Lander and Watford have been having a magnificent season to date - and the Southern Division leaders are aiming to claim a National Division scalp in the F.A.Women's Cup on Sunday.
Watford take on Chelsea for a place in the quarter finals and Helen admits that her team are looking forward to the match. "It's a big challenge," she told Women's Soccer Scene. "Due to our respective league positions, I think we have a chance. Our pitch isn't the best so it should be a good leveller.
"Last season we took a beating at their place but the home game at the end of the season was quite close, and the whole squad is looking forward to the match as there is no pressure on us."
Watford head the table by five points at present and Helen concedes that the important time comes after Sunday. "Promotion is our ultimate aim," she says. "This game will be a good marker for us as to how far we can go, and what we would need to do if we get there."
After finishing in the bottom half of the table in each of the last two seasons, Watford have been the surprise package this time around and have been unbeaten in the league since August. "I can't believe how well the season has gone," smiles Helen. "We were always confident that we could do well but you never know how things are going to shape up. We drew with Portsmouth in our first game which gave us a lot of confidence and things have gone from there. Our team has great strength of character and that has been the major difference, as we only signed two new players during the summer. Last week we came from two goals behind to score four times against Brighton in the last twenty minutes, without any of the forwards scoring, whereas last season we may well have lost the game."
Helen herself has set the goalscoring charts alight with 21 league goals to her name and she is the hot favourite to win the division's golden boot award, but the striker remains modest about her success. "I don't know what happened but I hit a good patch of form and couldn't help but score," she replies. "I scored five in one game against Langford and my confidence just soared! But it is the rest of the team who make the chances for me to put away, so I can't take all the credit.
"We are now getting goals from all areas of the team - Tanya Beverley, Miranda Hall and Sarah Chandler have all scored at important times - and a strong defence has been the basis of our good form.
"But I would swap all of my goals for us to win promotion."
Regarding the title run in, Helen picks out two clubs as Watford's main challengers. "Cardiff are our main rivals as they have games in hand on us but they still have to win them and if we keep winning our games, it will put pressure on them. Portsmouth's defeat to Millwall was a massive shock but they are still very much in the running. We still have to play Cardiff and Portsmouth, and they have to play each other, so there is sitll a long way to go. Millwall had a great win and still have a chance if they can keep it going.
"I have been at Watford since I was nine years old and started playing football, and there would be nothing better than going up with my club. But lots of our players have been with the club since they started and it would be a dream for all of us to win promotion to the top division."
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