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Rachael Laws: Liverpool Women “Buzzing” Ahead of Anfield Derby

The Anfield Derby is this Sunday

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Rachel Laws of Liverpool FC Women
Rachel Laws of Liverpool FC Women

Liverpool FC Women goalkeeper Rachel Laws spoke to ahead of the Anfield Derby this weekend — a massive fixture that Reds hope to right after losing 3-0 at home last season.

Laws was clear that the side are excited for Sunday (despite disappointment midweek), and look to learn from last season’s mistakes:

I think you can tell everyone has been buzzing all week about [this fixture]. I know obviously we had the Leicester game in the Continental Cup midweek, but I think everyone has had an eye on this game. It’s the kind of fixture that you look forward to in the calendar when you first get it and that’s the one you look for. It’s exciting and everyone is buzzing for it.

There were 54,000 people there [last season] and we kept our nerve and we held our own, and ultimately we deserved the result that day and I think we need to take a lot from that game into Anfield. Last season, it wasn’t good enough from us and we knew that collectively. But we’ve played at Villa Park, we’ve played at Goodison Park and put in some very good performances, so I hope we have learned. The girls we’ve brought in this season come here with a lot of experience in these type of games, so hopefully that shows on Sunday.

This is a different team and our new signings bring experience, they bring flair. You see Marie [Höbinger]’s goal, we see that day in, day out in training. It’s not just Marie, it’s everybody and they all add something to this team, and hopefully on Sunday we see those little bits coming out from everybody in front of a great crowd at Anfield.

Though Liverpool lost to Leicester City midweek, they’re on two wins in the league — including an impressive opening day win against Arsenal away at the Emirates — and Laws has managed two clean sheets. Confidence is high this season:

It is high but we are not getting carried away. We are only two games in and nobody looks at the table after only two games. We’ve had a good start but it means nothing if we don’t carry that on and build on it. But six points from six is a very good start. But it’s [about] keeping our feet on the ground and we can’t get carried away.

Despite the caution of early days, Laws is optimistic about what this group can achieve, and feels that she is herself in a really good place:

I had a really good pre-season and it’s flowed for me. Whereas in previous pre-seasons, I’ve been in and out with little injuries. But I certainly feel in a really good place. And in training, day in, day out, me and Teagan [Micah] are pushing each other, and I think that really helps. I think that only bodes well for me and the team going forward. I feel in a really good place and I feel my pre-season has been continuous. I’m feeling strong and I’m playing well and that gives me self-confidence. Hearing that from Matt [Beard] as well is a great thing and the girls as well, but I think self-confidence is a big thing and I have that at the moment.

Everton are on two straight losses in the league and went out of the cup this week as well, but Laws refuses to take the Blues lightly despite their early form:

Form goes out of the window in a Merseyside derby and it doesn’t matter whether you have won two or lost two. We will go into this game covering every single possible angle of Everton and I think we are going through it with a fine-tooth comb. Looking at their previous results, I don’t think you can go off that, especially in a derby, so we are looking at every angle and hopefully we have them all covered.

The occasion is a headline as well of course, and Laws looks forward to playing in front of the fans:

They are fantastic. Home and away, they are always really loud and they were there, as always, on Wednesday for midweek, 7pm kick-off in Leicester. So I hope they come in their numbers to Anfield on Sunday and I know it’s a cliché but they really are our 12th player, they really are, and hopefully they get us over the line on Sunday.

If you’re going, she has a message for you:

Please be loud, please be proud, get us over that line. We hear you week in, week out and we do need you. I remember during the COVID pandemic when we didn’t have our fans and we really did miss them. They will be really important for us on Sunday, so please come and cheer us on.

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