Taking nothing for granted
Friday, 02 April, 2010
Powell pleased but not getting carried away with win over Spain.
Despite articulating her delight at three important World Cup Qualifying points, the England Women’s Head Coach, Hope Powell, refused to get carried away with the victory over Spain at The Den on Thursday night.
A Katie Chapman goal on 29 minutes was enough to defeat the Spanish although England had plenty of chances to secure the win before half-time. Spain eventually grew into the game and pushed for the equaliser in the second half, but Powell’s charges kept them at bay, giving them a crucial advantage in Group Five; both sides are now level on points but England have a game in hand.
“I thought the first half we played well,” said Powell. “It would have been nice to have scored some of the chances we created, but it was a great goal for Kate after some good work by Jess [Clarke].
“The second half, I thought they were the better side. Technically they were very efficient. They really pressed us to try and get the equaliser, but we were quite resilient. We stood our ground, the whistle blew and we’ve got three points. It was tough in the second half.
"At the moment, we’ve got maximum points and they’ve dropped three, but we’ve still got games to play before we go to Spain. We’ve still got a job to do and we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve been in a similar position before where we beat them at home and found it really tough over there so we’ve got to maintain what we set out to do and that is to top the group."
Before the game Powell had warned her players they would have to earn any victory they were to achieve and she was pleased with her side’s work ethic, especially after the interval.
"It was one of those games where we had to work for the three points. The girls worked really hard. On the balance of play in the second half they really took the game to us and in the end we were just counting the clock down and praying that the game would be over. It’s over, we got three points and we move on.
"The girls appreciate that it was tough. We didn’t perhaps play our best football in the second half. We know we can play better and we move on. The most important thing was that we were resilient, we dug in and we worked really hard. Credit has to go to Spain though because they put us on the back foot in the second half but we managed to get the points, so I'm pleased."