'A good education'
Wednesday, 20 October, 2010
Hope Powell happy to be experiencing different playing styles in Korea.
by Glenn Lavery
Hope Powell believes her England Women’s side can take only positives from their 0-0 draw with South Korea on Tuesday.
In preparation for next summer’s World Cup Finals, the Head Coach has taken her charges to Korea to compete in The Peace Cup, in which England will face three non-European nations, and Powell says her players will really benefit from the experience.
“It was a good education,” Powell said, looking back on the goalless draw.
“We struggled a bit in the first half but it was quite hot and our players hadn’t fully acclimatised to Korea, so I suppose that’s understandable.
“[South Korea]had the better of the first half, they kept the ball really well, but we had a good discussion at half-time and we played a bit more like our old self after the break, and, to be honest, we should have won the game. Overall, it was a really good contest against a decent side who we’d never faced before; a side of a real technical ability.”
Powell has promised game-time to as many players as possible during this competition and against South Korea fielded three players with only 14 caps between them (before Tuesday); Sophie Bradley, Claire Rafferty and Steph Houghton.
“Sophie played alongside Casey [Stoney] in defence and she showed her leadership and defending qualities and really rose to the challenge,” Powell reflected. “She got a bit tired towards the end but it was a really sound performance from her.
“Claire was a bit nervous at the start but she really grew into the game and now it shows her what being in this environment is all about and what we are asking her to do.
“Steph put in a really commanding performance in midfield and that was pleasing because she has been playing at right-back for Arsenal.
“I have to give credit to all three of them because they worked extremely hard, as did every other player, but for them, they’re not regular starters and they are trying to stamp their mark on the team and they really rose to the challenge.”
The next challenge comes in the shape of New Zealand on Thursday and Powell is looking forward to facing a side with a different approach to the game than South Korea.
“I don’t think New Zealand will be as technically gifted but they are a very physical and energetic team.
“The strength of their game is their work ethic and work rate. They are more of a long ball side but that in itself will provide us with a different challenge and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here; to experience different styles of play.”