Rebecca Holloway: I want to continue performing

We don’t want to become complacent.

Rebecca Holloway

Blues defender Rebecca Holloway is determined to continue building on her Club performances after making her Northern Ireland debut on Tuesday.

The left-back was called up by manager Kenny Shiels for the first time since 2019 and was drafted straight into the starting line-up against England.

On making her international debut, Holloway said: “I’ve experienced camps with Northern Ireland when I was younger, and back in 2019 I got called up as well.

“This time it felt right, even to make my debut against England who are a top side, it only really hit me when I was walking out onto the pitch. It was definitely a moment to be proud of. When I joined the camp, I think he had an idea of the team he wanted to play, and I was part of that 11 all week. I had that whole week to mentally prepare myself to be starting.”

Initially, Holloway wasn’t expecting to be called up to the squad but was delighted to receive the call after a strong start to the season for Blues.

She said: “It was that feeling of ‘oh my gosh, I’ve been called up’ because I wasn’t expecting his call. I didn’t know I was getting a call-up, it’s nice that it was unexpected, and it gave me that feeling that it felt right and that I did deserve the call-up.

“I did enough to start on this camp, but now I want to continue performing so that I keep getting called up to future camps.”

Having played the vast majority of last season at centre-back, the 25-year-old has been playing at left-back this season and believes this is now her best position.

She credited the work of both Carla Ward and Alan Reeves for their guidance and support to both her and the squad since their arrival.

She explained: “I played left-back when I was in the Bristol Academy set-up when I was 15 so I had a bit of experience, but since I’ve been playing there this season, I can say it is my best position. It’s the position where I can really see myself pushing on.

“When Carla first came in, she spoke to all of us to get to know us. She wanted us to play with a smile on our face. Also, since Reevesy came in, he’s had such a big impact on the defence because that’s who he works with most. It shows in games because we have one of the best defences in the league.”

Next up for Blues is Manchester City and Holloway believes the team are ready for the challenge that the team placed second in the league will pose.

She said: “We know what we can do best. We don’t need to change what we have been good at all season. We don’t need to overthink things; we just continue to do what we’ve been doing. We want to build attacks as well; it’s not just about defending.

“We don’t want to become complacent. We felt really good after the Everton game, but we don’t want complacency because we need to approach the Man City game with the right mentality.”