Fidler relishing Euro challenge
Wednesday, 18 April, 2012
Head Coach looking forward to 'must win' qualifier against Switzerland.
Lois Fidler says she is looking forward to England’s final Euro qualifier on Wednesday.
The England Women’s U17 Head Coach has taken her Young Lions to Belgium for the final round of qualification for this summer’s Euro Finals and they must beat Switzerland to stand any chance of progressing.
England lost 1-0 to Iceland on Friday and defeated the host nation by the same scoreline on Sunday.
“Switzerland have a completely different style of play to both Belgium and Iceland and that will be a great experience for the players,” said Fidler. “They are similar to us in that they are a good footballing side so it will be an interesting contest between two teams who try and get the ball down and play.
“We need to win, Switzerland need to win and Iceland need to win [their final group game] so it’s an exciting end to a very competitive group.”
Should England top Group 1 the prize on offer is a place at the Euro Finals in late June, and the importance of tournament football is often said to be invaluable in the development of young players. Fidler is from this school of thought and, whether they qualify or not, she believes her players will have gained a lot from these qualifiers.
“At this elite international level the games are often tight and we have been trying to get that across to the players,” she said. “Teams stay in games for longer than they might do in a Centre of Excellence game, so the players have to persevere to a high standard for 80 minutes.
“We fell behind early against Iceland and had to chase the game, but against Belgium we took the lead and were forced to hold on when they were throwing everything at us, so they were two very good learning curves for the players.
“Now we’ve got a must win game on Wednesday in what is a really close group. We need Belgium to do us a favour against Iceland, but we have to beat Switzerland first and foremost. We can only focus on the things that we can control, and right now that is winning this next game."