LFC WomenNatasha Dowie on Aston Villa test, finishing the season strongly and Reds return
Natasha Dowie feels Liverpool FC Women's 2-1 win over Manchester City in their last outing showed everybody the true capabilities of this team.
With just two games left to play in the Barclays Women's Super League in 2022-23, the Reds sit in seventh place in the table on 22 points.
Dowie, who netted a record-breaking 20th goal in the WSL for the club, played her part in the victory over City for Matt Beard's side – a result that officially confirmed their place in the division for another season.
Free highlights: LFC Women 2-1 Man City
"It was massive for us, the win over Manchester City, because we had a disappointing performance and result at Leicester, then a really good reaction at Chelsea and we were really unlucky not to get a point," Dowie told Liverpoolfc.com.
"Our form at home has been brilliant, the fans have been incredible and to help the team win was an incredible day.
"One of the most pleasing things about our performance was… and I've been involved in games with other teams in the past against the big teams when you score first and then you are hanging on for dear life – the same thing happened to me at Reading last year when we beat Chelsea 1-0 and were then pretty much defending in our penalty area for pretty much the 90 minutes. That wasn't the case against City.
"We actually played some really good football and our reaction when they got the equaliser was very good.
"We started the second half so well and went 2-1 up, and then Shanice [van de Sanden] had a couple of really good chances to increase the lead. We probably had the best chances throughout the whole game and credit to us as it showed that on our day we can beat anyone in this league.
"To be officially safe in this division is massive for us. It was close towards the bottom of the table – and it still is – and one win for anyone down there changes the complexion of things.
"We've got two games left now and maybe we can leapfrog another team in the table as well, but we can play with more freedom now, be a bit more relaxed."
On Sunday, Dowie and her teammates head to Villa Park to take on a resurgent Aston Villa side, who are fifth in the WSL, in a 2pm BST kick-off.
The No.29 knows the Reds will have to be at their best as they try to get their first victory on the road in what is their final away game of the campaign.
"They are flying and they have been the surprise package in the division this year," she said. "I think Carla Ward has done an incredible job there.
"Rachel Daly is the in-form player in the WSL – she is on fire. So we have to be aware because everything she is touching at the minute is a goal. So if we can keep her quiet then that will be a big thing for us.
"They have so many other quality players like Kenza Dali, Jordan Nobbs, you can name quite a lot of players, and are full of confidence, so we need to be aware of that.
"But also we should be full of confidence. We've just beaten Manchester City, who are fighting for Champions League spots and are full of England internationals.
"We want to finish this season on a high and we want to try to get six points out of the two games."
Dowie is eager to conclude the campaign strongly on a personal level, too, and repay Beard's faith following her loan arrival from Reading in January.
"I'm hungry to get more goals," she added. "I would love to stay here at Liverpool and we'll see over the next couple of weeks whether that is the case.
"I love this club. People say to me, 'Every photo you are on, you are always smiling' and I think that says it all. I'm not putting it on, it's just natural.
"When I come to training, I'm so excited to come in and see the girls. They are such a special group of players and I get on with everyone so well. As soon as I came back here, everyone made me feel so welcome. The staff are incredible and it's great to be back with Beardy.
"More than anything, it's just great to be back home. I haven't lived in my house for six or seven years now, so for me and my partner it's just really nice to be back."