Author Topic: 'Learning curve' strengthens England  (Read 1536 times)

Offline David

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'Learning curve' strengthens England
« on: February 01, 2007, 09:49:49 AM »
England coach Hope Powell believes her side's participation in the Four Nations Tournament served as perfect preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

'Learning curve'
Hosted by China and also featuring Germany and the United States, the tournament was staged as a dry run for this September's competition. After opening with a defeat by the hosts, England drew their next two outings against the world's leading two countries. "This tournament has been a massive learning curve and we can only improve as a result of what we've learnt," said Powell.

Dress rehearsal
"We want to be invited to many more of these tournaments as they are the perfect dress rehearsal for when the major championships come round and I think our players have really won over the local fans this week, something I hope will ensure we get plenty of support come the World Cup."

Germany result
And despite not winning a match in China, England can certainly take heart from their showing. Tuesday’s draw with Germany - their first positive result against the world and European champions in 15 attempts - illustrates a continual improvement in the team’s performances since losing 5-1 to the same opponents in October.

'Psychological boost'
“We've really enjoyed the experience of playing against some of the top sides in the world this week and Germany are undoubtedly the No1 side," Powell said. "We came out again on the front foot as we did against the USA and although I'm not totally satisfied, psychologically the last two results have given everyone a big boost."

Forthcoming friendlies
September’s appearance in the World Cup will be England’s first since 1995, after finishing top of a qualification group containing fancied France. England’s next games are scheduled for March, friendlies against the Netherlands, Russia and Scotland.