We're not the nearly team, says Stoney

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The Independent Football

Casey Stoney has called on her Charlton team-mates to repay the commitment of their coach, Keith Boanas, by winning the Women's FA Cup. The Addicks captain has been part of the squad who have lost the last two finals, finished second in the Nationwide Premier League twice in succession and been beaten in this season's League Cup.

Casey Stoney has called on her Charlton team-mates to repay the commitment of their coach, Keith Boanas, by winning the Women's FA Cup. The Addicks captain has been part of the squad who have lost the last two finals, finished second in the Nationwide Premier League twice in succession and been beaten in this season's League Cup.

Stoney believes victory over Everton at Upton Park tomor-row would be the perfect way to justify Boanas's faith in the players. "The manager is great," she said. "He works so hard, it's about time we proved him right. There is extra pressure on us because we have lost twice. Everyone says we can't lose again, and I think a lot of the players wouldn't be able to take it. Hopefully, it'll be third time lucky."

The 22-year-old Stoney, a personal trainer, will have a vital role to play to ensure the team approach the match in the correct frame of mind. "It's my job to make sure the big-stage nerves don't get to the players - but the fact it is at Upton Park means it is like a home game for us."

Stoney is confident Charlton will be able to expose Ever-ton in wide areas. Her oppo- site number, Leanne Duffy, begs to differ, but despite Everton's excellent 3-0 defeat of Arsenal, the League champions, in the semi-finals, most people expect Charlton finally to shed their "nearly team" tag.

Midfielder Duffy, 25, said: "We know that most people will see us as underdogs, but we are quietly confident going into the game. The win over Arsenal gave us all confidence. That performance was the highlight of our season."

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