InterviewRachael Laws on Anfield WSL derby, 'feeling strong' and message to fans

By Steve Hunter


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Rachael Laws has spoken about the excitement that is building in the Liverpool FC Women camp ahead of Sunday’s Anfield Merseyside derby against Everton Women.

The No.1 has produced back-to-back clean sheets in the Barclays Women’s Super League, playing a big part in the Reds’ two wins over Arsenal Women and Aston Villa Women to open 2023-24.

Last season saw the Blues win in front of the Kop as they claimed a 3-0 success, but Laws insists valuable lessons have been learned ahead of this latest encounter.

Previewing the game, Laws told about the importance of the team keeping their feet on the ground, how pleased she has been with her own form and the difference the supporters can make on Sunday.

Read on for the interview...

On the excitement in the camp ahead of the derby…

I think you can tell everyone has been buzzing all week about it. 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.

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On learning lessons from last season’s Anfield derby and playing at Emirates Stadium to kick off 2023-24…

There were 54,000 people there 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.

On how high the confidence is in the camp after a great start to the WSL 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.

On how pleased she has been with her form so far…

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.

On the threat posed by Everton, despite losing their opening three games in the league and cup…

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.

On how big a part the supporters can play on Sunday…

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.

On her message to the fans…

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.

Rachael Laws goalkeeper
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