Nottingham Forest midfielder Bex Rayner has cemented herself as a key player for The Reds this season as she is the only outfield Red to feature in every single minute of the side’s games, so far.
Rayner arrived from FA Women’s Championship Sheffield United during the summer and with her abundance of wizardry tricks and skills in her locker she has quickly made a name for herself at the club.
Rayner’s impressive performances and her hand in the side’s goals has done enough to see her play a full 90 minutes across all games this season and she speaks about her joy of a playing a key part for the team.
“It’s obviously great to be making a contribution to the side and the more minutes the better for me,” Rayner explained.
“I always try to put the most I can in for the team to try and get the wins we need.”
The Reds suffered a tough start to the season as they adapted to life under new head coach, Andy Cook, and the new faces in and around the starting 11 but they bounced back positively and have picked up five wins out of their last six games. Rayner explains how much she has enjoyed her time at Forest and believes the side have found their ‘true identity’ since the start of the season.
She said: “I have loved my time with Forest so far.
“Although we may have had a tough start we analysed and realised what was going wrong and now I think we’ve found our true identity and belief.
“When we found that we began to play with freedom and happiness and that feeling when everything that you’ve worked on comes together on the pitch is a feeling you cannot beat.”
Along with picking up some memorable wins in the recent two months Rayner shares her favourite part of being a Red as she explains the club as allowed her to rediscover her love for playing the game.
“I’ve enjoyed playing with my new teammates, it’s such a tight nit group and everyone is always supportive of each-other, which makes it an easier environment to play in,” Rayner expressed.
“The management have helped me a lot and always supported me and allowed me to express myself with the ball at my feet and I feel they have helped me bring back the enjoyment which I recently lost when playing football.
“So, I think that’s the main thing that I am really enjoying my football again.”
Rayner most recently picked up a full 90 minutes of playing time across The Reds last two games and she recorded herself two assists and a goal across both fixtures in which she impressed heavily in. Forest picked up the well-deserved back-to-back wins to return to winning ways and Rayner shared her thoughts following the two matches.
She said: “I’m very pleased with the last two games because we didn’t let the loss to Sunderland get the better of us.
“We bounced back and made sure as a team that we learned from our mistakes and by doing that we showed two very strong performances.”
The side most recently stormed to an empathic 6-2 win away to Chester-le-Street Town in the first round of the FA Women’s National League Plate. Forest were forced to come from behind twice to seal their place in the next round and Rayner believes that the fightback showcases the character of the team.
Rayner stated: “It just shows the strong, determined character of the team in tough weather conditions to dig deep for each other and come back twice from being behind to get the win to go into the next round of the cup.”