VIDEO: Hope on French test
by Samuel Philip Steinbock
Thursday, 07 July, 2011
National Coach wants quarter final to be won in 90 minutes.
Click here to watch the FATV interview with Hope Powell
Ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter final with France on Saturday, FATV caught up with England Women's National Coach Hope Powell.
After a tough game against Japan, beating the group favourites in style, Powell is now expecting a difficult test against the French in Leverkusen as both sides eye a place in the semi-finals.
Powell believes that, like Japan, France are an technical side who keep the ball very well and also have a quick frontline and she expects them to look to knock balls in behind England’s defenders.
“It will be a very tough game and the games have always been very tough," she told FATV. "We will have to be on our game to get through and we’ll be prepared and give it our best shot."
England have experienced playing France in the past. In 2007 England qualified for the World Cup at France’s expense but Powell also recalls the occasion in 2003 when France went through.
Ten members of the France squad are Lyon players who won the UEFA Women’s Champions League last season and beat in the semi-final an Arsenal team containing England stars Rachel Yankey, Faye White, Ellen White and Steph Houghton.
“When you have only a couple of days you need to focus upon your game plan, we need to appreciate what we’re up against and make sure to exploit France's weaknesses and we will train towards that.”
With penalties a possibility, Powell explained that the England squad always practice shootouts and emphasied that they would prefer to get the job done before that scenario is possible: “Let’s get it done and dusted in 90 minutes if we can,” she said.
You can follow the game on Saturday evening with us here on TheFA.com or via Twitter/thefadotcom. The game is also live on BBC2, the BBC Sport website and Eurosport