Natasha Dowie: Liverpool-Everton derby 'best game' to play in

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Natasha Dowie
Natasha Dowie (centre) has won two WSL titles with Liverpool

Liverpool striker Natasha Dowie says the Merseyside derby is "the best game" as she prepares to face her former side Everton on Thursday.

The teams will meet in the Continental Cup at the Select Security Stadium, the ground they share in Widnes.

The 27-year-old England international moved to Liverpool from Everton in 2012, having spent five years with the Toffees, who now play in WSL 2.

"The derby is the best game for me to play in," Dowie told BBC Sport.

"Everton are a really competitive team, they've got some great players still and they always raise their bar when they play us."

After a slow start to their league campaign, forward Dowie says the Continental Cup offers Liverpool the chance to resurrect their season.

She continued: "If you do well in cup competitions, you get more minutes under your belt and get your confidence up so it does help, definitely."

Natasha Dowie
Dowie won the FA Cup with Everton in 2010, scoring the winning goal in the 3-2 victory over Arsenal

The match will be the first time the two sides have met this season, following Everton's demotion to the second tier.

Dowie, who won the FA Cup and League Cup while with Everton, admits it is hard to see her former team's decline.

"When I was at Everton we were probably one of the best teams in women's football, but unfortunately that's the way women's football is going at the minute," she said.

"If you haven't got the funding available then you're going to struggle.

"It is sad to see but I'm confident that they've got a strong squad and in the next couple of years they'll bounce back into WSL 1."

Dowie added: "I have a lot for respect for Everton but they won't have any for me, so I just want to win football matches at Liverpool and be successful. I can't wait."