Smith ready for double-header
Wednesday, 24 March, 2010
England forward prepared for Austria and Spain challenge.
England v Austria
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Qualifier
7pm, Thursday 25 March 2010
Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers FC
Exclusively live and free of charge on FATV
England head into tonight’s match against Austria looking to protect their 100 per cent record in World Cup Qualifying, but Kelly Smith has warned the Three Lions not to take another victory for granted.
Malta and Turkey have been comfortably beaten by Hope Powell’s side in England’s opening Qualifiers and tonight’s match represents the first of what could prove to be a crucial double-header, with Spain providing the opposition next Thursday at the Den. England trail Spain by six points, but have two games in hand and two victories would put Smith et al. in the driving seat in Group 5. However, the forward has urged England to display a clinical streak in front of goal to make sure of victory.
“These next two games are huge,” said the forward. “Teams have an extra incentive when they play us now because we reached the European Final last year and they will raise their game, so we will have to take our chances when they come.
“Austria will be hard to break down. They will be well organised and will probably put most of their team behind the ball to frustrate us. We will have to be on top of our game and we will need players to play freely and express themselves, especially in the final third.”
These next two matches will bring England to the halfway stage in their qualification campaign and they could be in a healthy position to make it to their fourth straight major tournament and second consecutive World Cup. Smith is a veteran of 91 caps and has one World Cup Finals appearance under her belt, having starred for England in the 2007 Finals in China and she already has her sights set on another appearance on the world’s greatest stage.
“The World Cup, for me, is the biggest competition in football. World Cup 2007 was a massive highlight in my career and it was a childhood dream to play and score for England in a World Cup.
“On a personal note, it would mean the world to me to get to another World Cup, not least because it would be my last one, but, more importantly, it is a must to qualify, for the development of the game in this country and as a nation.”
You can watch both Qualifiers live and free of charge on TheFA.com via FATV.
England v Spain
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