'We need to get back to our best'
Monday, 21 June, 2010
Faye White seeks improvement after performance against Spain.
The England Women’s captain, Faye White, has echoed her manager’s displeasure at the Three Lions’ performance against Spain on Saturday evening.
England came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ignacio Quereda’s side but after the game Powell bemoaned her charges’ “shocking” first-half display.
White, who scored the equaliser in the 88th minute, was also disappointed with the performance in the opening 45 minutes, but she did reserve words of praise for the second-half improvement.
“There was no spark, no urgency. It was a performance that I’ve never witnessed [before],” said White, of England’s first-half showing. “You could see in some players eyes that were thinking ‘this is it, we are out. We won’t get a chance to go to the World Cup’.
“In the second half we played a lot better; the changes helped. But it shouldn’t have taken till half-time to get people fired up.”
So, what was the message from the Head Coach during the interval?
“That people weren’t working hard enough, that we were second best to everything. We didn’t really look like we threatened in the first half but in the second half it felt like the game was in their half a lot more and we pressed them, which is what we needed to do from the start. I said at half-time that there wasn’t one player who had done enough.
“The first goal was a bit lucky; I think [Rachel] Unitt would admit that. She said the first cross she put in was lousy and she thought she’d have to get something better on [the next cross]. Thankfully it flew in the net and that gives you a bit of hope.”
Unitt’s goal put England ahead their nearest Group 5 qualification rivals on the head-to-head record, by virtue of having scored more away goals in the games between the two sides (April’s meeting finished 1-0 to England).
However, with momentum finally building White says she got a bit carried away and only had thoughts of leaving Spain with what had appeared an unlikely point. And it was the skipper who secured the point with a cool finish just two minutes from the end.
“Thankfully, I just got the faintest of touches and it went in,” she said. “We’d gone over the [different] outcomes but in the heat of the moment I was thinking a draw was the minimum [we required]. But, not just in terms of qualification but because of the ability we have, we feel we should be playing better and winning games anyway.
“We’ve got two more games, we haven’t qualified yet. We can’t play like that [again]. As a team we need to get back to getting the best out of ourselves.”
England’s final two qualifiers are against Turkey and Austria and they need just one win to seal top spot in the group and book the all-important World Cup play-off place.