Casey keen to make a point
Tuesday, 17 May, 2011
USA game was acid test, now let's build, says defender.
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Tickets are priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions and will be on sale from The Kassam Stadium before the game
England defender Casey Stoney is anticipating a tough examination from Sweden in the Three Lions’ final World Cup warm-up match on Tuesday night.
With regular skipper Faye White ruled out with a knee injury, Stoney is in line to captain her country at The Kassam Stadium, home of Oxford United, and she has urged her team-mates to put on a performance fit for the world stage.
“I've played against Sweden quite a lot in the past,” she explained. “They normally play 4-4-2 against us, they are very organised, disciplined and can be very direct. We expect a really difficult contest, particularly as a defender because they will no doubt try to put the back players under pressure at every opportunity.
“I know Hope [Powell, England’s National Coach] won't be looking at the result, she'll be looking at the performance and I think it's important we all perform well both individually and collectively with the World Cup just around the corner.”
England come into this match is buoyant mood after beating USA, the number one ranked side in the world, early last month. A goal apiece for Jess Clarke and Rachel Yankey helped Hope Powell’s side to a 2-1 victory at Leyton Orient. Now Stoney wants to build on that performance tomorrow night.
“That win has to give us belief,” she said. “It is a big ask, but if we can reproduce that first-half performance for 90 minutes then we’ll be right up there with the best. That game just showed how good we can be, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves; it was a one half performance. We need to work even harder to make that count and our first chance to prove it is against Sweden. We need to build on that USA game and not rest on our laurels.”
With 88 caps, Casey is one of the more experienced members of the squad and she realises that the game against Sweden is the last chance players will have to impress Hope before she names her final World Cup squad on Friday 10 June.
“It is a chance for the younger players, and those that haven’t got too many caps, to show what they are capable of, both in the game and in training.
“But it's not just the younger players who have to impress; we're all fighting for places. Knowing Hope as long as I have, she won't decide on her squad until the very last minute so everyone has still got every chance. We are all fighting for places.”
Goalkeeper Rachel Brown has withdrawn from the England squad due to a shoulder injury. No replacement has been called up.
The squad in full. Click here for stats (or click on a player's name for their own individual profile):
Karen Bardsley (Sky Blue), Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), Carly Telford (Chelsea)
Sophie Bradley (Lincoln Ladies), Lindsay Johnson (Everton), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Casey Stoney (Lincoln Ladies), Dunia Susi (Birmingham City), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Fern Whelan* (Everton)
Anita Asante (Sky Blue), Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Dani Buet (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Everton)
Eniola Aluko (Sky Blue), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Jess Clarke (Lincoln Ladies), Natasha Dowie (Everton), Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Sue Smith (Lincoln Ladies), Ellen White (Arsenal), Rachel Williams (Birmingham City), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal)
*Whelan replaced Fara Williams (Everton)