Bradley targets win in Holland
Thursday, 27 October, 2011
Defender says England are looking to reach Group 6 summit.
A draw away from home against your toughest group rivals would be deemed by many to be a good result. Sophie Bradley, however, believes England can do better than that.
Ahead of the Three Lions’ UEFA Euro 2013 qualifier against Holland, which is being broadcast live and free of charge on FATV, the young defender says Hope Powell’s side will be going all out for the win.
This will be England’s third Euro qualifier, following a 2-2 draw away to Serbia and a 4-0 defeat of Slovenia, and that draw in Belgrade means Holland are two points clear at the top of Group 6 with two wins from two, and Bradley wants to have displaced the Dutch come full-time on Thursday night.
“We need a result out here, especially because we dropped points against Serbia,” she said.
“We did well to come back against Slovenia at home, but, for me, it doesn’t make a difference if we are playing home or away, I am always looking to get three points regardless. [Holland] may think they have got an advantage playing at home but it doesn’t really phase us; we are still going out to win the game.”
The last time England and Holland met in a competitive fixture was the Euro 2009 semi-final, when Jill Scott’s extra-time header sent England into a decider against eventual victors Germany. However, Holland now have a new coach in the shape of Roger Reijners who has got them playing a more expansive brand of football and they currently sit 13th in the FIFA rankings and should provide England with a difficult test.
“They have changed their manager and are trying out a new style of play, but we have seen plenty of DVDs and experienced enough of them lately that we know what we will be up against,” Bradley said of the Dutch.
“We played them [at a warm weather training camp] in La Manga in January and we saw them play in the Cyprus Cup Final against Canada so we know a lot about them. We just need to focus on what we do on the day."
As well as attempting to take points off of an improving Holland side, England’s players must also come to terms with playing Thursday’s qualifier on an artificial pitch, although Bradley does not feel the surface will be a major factor.
“We train on an artificial pitch at Lincoln so a few of us are more than comfortable with it,” she revealed.
“It’s a bit quicker than playing on a grass pitch, especially if it’s wet, and the bounce can be hard to judge from one bounce to the next, but we’ve trained on a 3G pitch all week and we have got used to it.
“We will be going out to win this game, to move top of the group and put the pressure on the Dutch,” Bradley concluded. “A draw would be a good result, but that won’t stop us going for all three points.”
England’s next home qualifier is against Serbia on Wednesday 23 November at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium. Tickets are on sale now, priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions, with U7s going free when accompanied by an adult.
Click here to buy online or call the ticket hotline on 01302 762 576.
Squad in full
Karen Bardsley (Linköpings – on loan from Sky Blue), Rachel Brown* (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy)
Sophie Bradley (Nottingham Forest - on loan from Lincoln), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Casey Stoney (Lincoln), Dunia Susi (Birmingham City), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Fern Whelan (Everton)
Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Dan Buet (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Arsenal), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton)
Eniola Aluko (Sky Blue), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Jess Clarke (Lincoln), Natasha Dowie (Everton), Ellen White (Arsenal) Rachel Williams (Birmingham City), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal)
* withdrew from the squad through injury