A good week's work
Wednesday, 09 March, 2011
Hope Powell reflects on pleasing Cyprus Cup campaign.
by Glenn Lavery
England v USA, Saturday 2 April at the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient. Buy tickets online here
Hope Powell reflected on a ‘fantastic week of preparation’ after watching her England Women’s side complete their Cyprus Cup campaign with a well deserved victory over South Korea.
Sue Smith scored a goal in each half to secure the 2-0 win and a fifth place finish in the friendly tournament, but more pleasing for her coach was the game time it has given her players with the World Cup just over three months away.
“At this time of the year, where most of the players haven’t played competitively for the best part of 12 months, it’s nice that everyone has contributed during the four games,” she began. “It has given us an opportunity to try new things and we got better as the tournament went on.
“We have been out in Cyprus a bit longer than in previous years and it has been a fantastic week of preparation because it gives us more experience of how demanding a tournament can be. Most importantly, with the World Cup looming, it has given me a chance to look at the players and it has given these players an opportunity to play.
“We need to make sure we peak at the right time, though, and hopefully we’ll continue to get better.”
England were competing in the fifth/sixth place play-off after finishing third in Group A, behind Canada and Scotland. They beat Italy in their opening match last Wednesday but subsequently lost to the top two nations. Each of England’s four Cyprus Cup games finished 2-0.
As Powell alluded to, the Three Lions got stronger as the tournament progressed and she revealed her satisfaction with her side’s final performance against South Korea.
“The pleasing thing is that it follows on from our performance against Canada,” she said.
“South Korea had a few chances but all in all I thought we controlled the game. You have to give credit to our players for breaking them down and getting the result.
“We missed a couple of chances but, as I’ve said in the past, the most important thing is that we are creating the chances. I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating anything.
"We got a bit fortuitous with the first goal, but you have to give Sue credit for that type of delivery. They didn’t read her cross properly and it went in the back of the net.
“For the second goal she did well to get it onto her left foot and placed it nicely beyond the ‘keeper. I’m pleased for Sue and it was a shame she couldn’t get a hat-trick late on.”