Mo Marley knows her U20s must convert good performances into results.
Mo Marley’s Young Lions go into their final group game of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup with the difficult realisation that their fate in the tournament now lies in the hands of others.
Having drawn their opening game with Nigeria and suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Mexico, England now know they must beat Japan convincingly on Wednesday and hope for a favourable result in the group’s other fixture to qualify from Group C.
However, Head Coach Marley remains in positive mood and has so far been pleased with the way her side have performed, despite not getting the results required.
"I’m proud of my players because they played just like I asked them to,” Marley told FIFA.com. “We imposed our style of play and knocked the ball around at will in both matches. But we couldn’t convert our domination into goals in either game.
“We had great chances versus Nigeria and Mexico, but it wasn’t to be. Against Japan, we’ll do everything in our power to get a positive result. For us, a win is imperative.”
England currently sit bottom of Group C on one point and behind Japan on goal difference, while Nigeria and Mexico fill the top two spots on four points. While victory for the Three Lions over the Nadeshiko
would not guarantee qualification from the group it would certainly put a better complexion on the tournament and give Marley’s side even further experience of high-pressure international situations.
“The players are young. Situations like these will help them mature and will provide them with valuable experience for the future," said Marley.
“Many of them have already been through similarly difficult times, but they’ve also enjoyed moments of great success, such as reaching the semi-finals of New Zealand 2008 or winning the European Championship in 2009. On the flip side, we lost in the Final of that same event this year. These are all learning experiences.”
There is little doubt, however, that everyone in the England camp will hope this current experience lasts a good deal longer.England's crucial game against Japan will be live on British Eurosport and online at FIFA.com - click here.