Powell ready for Italian test
Stuart Mawhinney in Lahti
Tuesday, 25 August, 2009
Hope Powell says that England are fully prepared for their Euro 2009 opener.
As she looks forward to England's first game of Euro 2009, Powell said that the hard work of recent weeks and months give them every chance of performing in Finland.
"Preparations have gone really well I think. It's been very relaxed, I think that apart from the hard work that the players have to do sometimes they have enjoyed it.
"We had a good week at Bisham, and I guess that once the final selection is made everyone can relax and just look forward to the tournament. All in all preparations have been good and everybody is available for selection.
"Everybody is in match mode and ready to go."
Powell is also under no illusions that the match in Lahti will be a straight forward task for England, with Italy steadily improving in recent years and growing in stature.
"I saw them play against Finland recently and we've had them looked at four or five times," Powell explained. They've definitely gone through that transition period and come out at the other end - unfortunately for us.
"We have to respect that and we'll take nothing for granted, we'll go in fully prepared and know what to expect. On the day we have to perform and that's what it's all about."
While it is important to start the tournament well, Powell also concedes that a victory in the first match in no way guarantees any success later in the competition.
"With the experiences we have had from Euro 2005 and looking at Denmark on Sunday in losing a game they were expected to win the first game. We won the first game four years ago and yet Finland went through and we finished bottom of the group.
"So we want to win our first game, our second game and our third game. We want to win them all. Firstly it's about getting out of the group and hopefully we will get off to a good start."