Hills pleased despite loss
Monday, 27 February, 2012
Head Coach praises players for performance against Norway.
by Glenn Lavery
Brent Hills was full of praise for his England Women’s Under-23 side despite watching them fall to a narrow defeat against Norway in the opening match of this year’s Four Nations Tournament in La Manga.
Under-23 debutant Laura Coombs fired the England into a deserved lead on 36 minutes and the Three Lions could have gone in at half-time with an even more comfortable advantage after controlling matters in the opening 45.
However, Norway improved after the interval and snatched the win with two goals from set pieces.
“We played really, really well in the first half and if we’d have got a second goal we could have about 4-0,” began Hills. “We totally dominated and should have gone ahead before we did.
“But we got drawn into a bit of a battle in the second half, even though we still had a number of really good chances and we conceded from two corners, so that’s not too pleasing.
“We knew they’d improve in the second half, but we still played some good football ourselves.
“They are always tough games in this tournament and Norway are very good opposition.”
Next up for England is a game against USA on Tuesday and the Head Coach is confident his team can build on their performance against Norway.
“We have got so many good clips on DVD from the [Norway] game that we can look at ahead of USA. The players were doing everything we want them to do; they played through the thirds, produced some good football at a good tempo and they defended well, too.
“What I have reminded the players is that we have just played one of the top-ranked teams in women’s football and they haven’t scored against us in open play.
“What is a shame is that we like to pride ourselves on our defensive organisation and it was disappointing to concede two goals from corners, so we need to tidy that up a bit, but in open play, our ‘keeper hardly had anything to do and we defended as a team really well."