Show your true colours
Friday, 28 August, 2009
Hope Powell wants to see the real England when they face Russia tonight.
Hope Powell believes that her players can show their true colours against Russia on Friday evening to keep their Euro 2009 destiny safely in their own hands.
Having suffered defeat at the hands of Italy on Tuesday evening, Powell feels that a vast improvement on the performance is necessary to give them the best chance of victory against Russia.
Powell said: "I think we've got to look forward and have a positive attitude. We will try and learn from the first game, there were a lot of positives from that game, but if we want to stay here and in this competition we have to do well against Russia.
"The players know that and it doesn't need me to tell them, but we have just reinforced a few things and being as positive as we can be. When it comes to it we have to give 110% effort to get something out of the game.
"Every game we want to go into with a positive attitude, wanting to win. We don't want to leave anything to chance, we want our destiny in our own hands and we will try to win the game as we did against Italy."
The England Head Coach is confident that her players will respond strongly after the setback of losing the opening game, which also saw defender Casey Stoney dismissed early on for a professional foul.
"I'd like to think that the players have responded positively," Powell explained. "I think they were honest in their assessment of the game.
"We appreciate that we could do better but it was difficult with only ten players for the majority of the game. I think before the sending off we could have done better, but it was an admirable challenge with ten."
While there is a great deal of experience in this England squad compared with Russia, Powell is wary of the threat from some of the younger members of the opposition squad.
Powell said: "Russia U19s won the European Championship two years ago, so a lot of those players have tournament experience at international level.
"Sometimes when you are young and new to it you don't fear anything, and certainly from what I saw against Sweden they played with very little fear and very little anxiety - they went for it.
"We have to be prepared for a very tough game."
When asked if it would be a different proposition to the Russia side that England defeated 6-0 in March 2007, Powell was clear: "Russia are a very different team, they have grown in confidence and in stature.
"I think the 3-0 scoreline flattered Sweden in the first game, and I think they appreciated what a tough game they had. We know it won't be easy.
"They've come on and improved, as have a lot of teams out here, they are in the same position we are in so it will be a very difficult game.
"Both teams have lost their first game, so in effect it's a big game and one we want to win as I'm sure Russia do as well. The first hurdle is three points, and more importantly not lose. We're going to have try and do better than we did against Italy."