Author Topic: It's good to be home  (Read 897 times)

Offline David

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It's good to be home
« on: March 08, 2007, 08:56:22 AM »
England Head Coach Hope Powell looks ahead to three games in seven days, and tells it's good to be home again.

It's good to be back in England and it will be tonight to reacquaint ourselves with our home support once more.

The last time we played in Milton Keynes - two years ago - we had just under 7,000 very vocal supporters who cheered us to a 4-1 win over Italy, and we hope to have a similar crowd when we take on Russia tonight.

It seems so long ago that we last played in front our own supporters, back in August, and since then the team have travelled to France, Germany and China.

We took part in the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou in January and I think it was a really good opportunity to go and partially experience what we will see at the World Cup in September.

In terms of the tournament itself it was great to play against some of the leading nations in the world, with Germany number one and USA number two, and we did very well against those teams, drawing both games.

These months leading up to September are all about preparing for the World Cup, and I think it's important that we play as many games as possible in a tournament-type format. The players need to experience the recovery periods in between games that come so close together, and all the physical aspects that come with that.

Looking at the opponents on Thursday, Russia are physically a very strong team and we certainly experienced that last time we played them. Russia didn't make it to the World Cup this time but it will be challenging and that is what we need. I think that they're in a rebuilding period so we'll see young players coming through for them.

It's important to mention Faye White and her return. She has been out of the squad for such a long time and it was important to bring her back as early as we could. She is a great character to have around and I think it will give her a boost.

It's been difficult for her. Rehab from a long-term injury is lonely and it's hard when you're not playing. We're not saying that she's going to be at full strength immediately, clearly she won't be, but to be among the environment and see where she is in terms of recovery, it will be an added incentive.

One last thing I would like to point out, just in case you are in any doubt about coming to the game, is that in my mind, there are no friendlies this year.

I'm preparing for these three games as I will be come the group games at The World Cup in September and I'll be expecting the players to treat them in exactly the same way.

A full transcript of this interview can be found in the match programme tonight when England take on Russia at the National Hockey Stadium.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and tickets are just £5 for Adults and £2.50 for concessions.