England positive before semi-final
Tuesday, 01 June, 2010
England defender looking forward to semi-final on TV.
England defender Gilly Flaherty says the spirit in the Three Lions camp is good, despite defeat to Germany in their final group game on Sunday.
The Arsenal player also believes the loss can now be forgotten before Mo Marley's team focus on their semi-final with Holland as they look to retain their European U19 Championship title.
England, like the Germans, won both their opening games to secure a place in the last four, with Sunday's encounter in Skopje a decider for top spot. And though it was her team's first defeat in 21 games, Flaherty says the they will not lose their winning mentality as they eye a place in Saturday's Final.
"We've had ups and downs throughout these finals: winning against Scotland then trailing Italy until late in the second half and coming back to make it 2-1," she said. "Then we lost to Germany, but the mood is positive – we're looking forward to the semi-finals.
"I don't think England will ever lose the winning habit. A loss is always unexpected, but we've lost before so we know what it's like and we'll come back stronger than ever. We dominated through qualifying and also last year in Belarus, so it's been hard – unusual for us to be up against it – especially in the first half against Italy.
"It really tested our unity and spirit – obviously we proved in the second half that we can step it up."
And Wednesday's semi-final back at the National Arena in Skopje will be the first game of the tournament to be screened live on TV. The match is on Eurosport, kicking off at 4pm (BST) an will give Flaherty and her team mates the chance to show the nation what they can do.
"It's good that it'll be on telly," she added, "it'll be nice for friends and family who were unable to come out here.
"But we've got to focus on winning because the Final is our aim. That's most important."