Rachael Laws is back – and hopes to be back for good.
Sunderland’s vice-captain was restored to the side for Saturday night’s 3-1 Continental Tyres Cup defeat to Manchester City at Hetton.
I am pleased to be back in the side and playing again after 16 weeksRACHAEL LAWS
It was her first appearance since keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Birmingham City in May.
Laws suffered a knee injury at the start of the mid-season break and was not fit for the WSL1 resumption and had to watch as the Lady Black Cats signed Hilde Olsen.
The Norwegian deputised so impressively it looked a case of if Laws would regain her place, rather than when.
But the 24-year-old was given a chance by boss Carlton Fairweather against City and did not fluff her lines, making two excellent second-half saves to deny Nikita Parris.
It leaves Fairweather with a difficult selection choice for this Sunday’s WSL1 trip to Birmingham City.
“I hope so,” Laws told the Echo. “Hilde has come in and done fantastic.
“But that just pushes me that little bit harder every day in training.
“Hopefully I can prove myself and get back between the sticks.”
The Hebburn girl, who wore the captain’s armband when deputising for the ill Steph Bannon, was satisfied with her form.
“More so in the second half,” said Laws, who was beaten twice in the space of five minutes in the first half by Parris and Steph Houghton.
“Personally, I think I should have done better with the first goal, may be got a bigger parry on it.
“But I am pleased to be back in the side and playing again after 16 weeks.
“I think it was only meant to take six to eight weeks but it’s taken me nearly 17.
“I have bided my time and worked hard and got back on the pitch and hopefully I can stay there now.”