This Sunday sees Nottingham Forest lock horns with local rivals Derby County at the City Ground. Derby County will be seeking to spoil the party and avenge last season’s defeat. We catch up with centre midfielder Becky Anderson to find out how the team are preparing for the match.
The summer was a period of transition for the club with manager Andy Cook leaving to take up a role at Newcastle United. How was this period for the players?
It’s been a transitional period with quite a lot of change in a short space of time, so it’s taken some time to get used to and for the players to feel settled, but we are making progress with that as we adjust to what is a new era for the club.
Carly Davies was announced as Andy’s replacement in early August, how has she been settling in and does her philosophy differ from Andy’s?
Carly has hit the ground running, has added some depth to the squad since the summer which we needed and has a clear philosophy in terms of how she wants us to play.
I would say there is more focus on some of the technical aspects of the game and on our structural organisation in and out of possession.
It’s been a strong start to the season, and you currently sit four points from the top of the division but with a game in hand. Given that it is so early in the season, do players pay attention to the league table?
We always keep an eye on the table but the main focus is on each game. It’s a long season, there are lots of variables which can change quickly, so it’s important not to get hung up on the table early on. Personally, I don’t look at it all that often. All we can do is look to win each game and then it’s irrelevant what goes on in the other games.
In your opinion, how strong is the Northern Premier Division in comparison to previous seasons?
The league is probably the strongest now it’s ever been. As the quality of the Barclays Super League and Championship improves, naturally that filters down as players move on and look to our league to play a decent level of football. There are also a lot of quality young players in this league now getting good experience and playing time having come from higher clubs.
You’ve just beaten your rivals Wolves 2-0 in the League Cup, as defending champions but also promotion hopefuls, would you trade progression in the League Cup or league points?
I wouldn’t trade the progression no. We’ve proven it’s possible to be successful in both competitions and I believe we can do that again this year.
This weekend you return to the City Ground to take on local rivals Derby County. Last year you welcomed over five thousand fans to the stadium as you dispatched Derby County. How did that feel?
It’s great to play at the City Ground, we really appreciate all the support we get. It’s a great atmosphere and it’s brilliant to hear the crowd get behind us.
Derby have struggled so far this season, how do you fancy your chances of repeating that result?
We are well prepared for the game. Derby will always pose us problems but that is what we train for and hopefully we can produce a dominant performance on the weekend.
Lastly, what are your personal goals for the season?
Personally, I would like to replicate our achievements from last year but that is no easy task. Game by game put in good performances to help the team. I’m playing a slightly deeper role this year so far, so clean sheets and protecting the back line are high on my priority list!
Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.